By Muftau Ogunyemi
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said the Nigerian Army will remain professional, apolitical and focused on its constitutional mandate.
Buratai made the pledge while commissioning some projects at the 32 Artillery Brigade, Owena Cantonment in Akure, Ondo State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that four projects were commissioned at the cantonment, which included renovation and fencing of brigade headquarters and the guard house.
Others were 32 Artillery Brigade Medical Centre, the renovation of 3xCBQs and the ground breaking of the poultry farm owned by Owena Cantonment Barracks Investment Initiative Programme (BIIP).
Buratai, who was represented by Maj.-Gen. Anthony Omozoje, GOC, 2 Div. Ibadan, said that the Nigerian Army would not deviate from its core mandate as prescribed by the constitution.
He said that the Nigerian Army had reiterated its commitment to ensure that the country was free from any form of terrorist acts.
“We have vowed to put more efforts to curtail any form of terrorism in the country by remaining professional, apolitical and focused on our constitutional mandate,” he said.
Buratai said that the renovation of staff quarters, guard quarters and medical centre was to encourage the personnel and to uplift the standard of living of Nigerian Army personnel.
“I wish to put it on record today that every barracks in Nigeria today is being impacted to uplift standard and improve infrastructure,” Buratai said.
He appreciated Governors Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo and Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti for their support to the Nigerian Army and 32 Artillery Brigade.
Also speaking, Brig.-Gen. Zakar Abubakar, Commander 32 Artillery Brigade, said that the COAS approved N61.2 million for the purchase of state of the art equipment for the medical centre.
“I appreciate your benevolent support to the welfare of the troops and remain indebted to your cause. This singular act has saved the brigade from avoidable deaths and hardship,” he said.
Abubakar added that the command would empower 100 widows of victims of North-East insurrection that would be trained by the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (SMEDAN).
“To this end, a philanthropist, a friend of the barracks, Chief Bibopiri Ajube, has promised to finance the first phase.
“As a take-off, 100 widows will be drawn from 32 Artillery Brigade, 60 from Owena Cantonment, 30 for Naquora Barracks and 10 for 322 Artillery Brigade, Benin.
“The philanthropist, has approved the sum of N10million for the take off of the project. Today, each of the widow will be given N50,000 and N5 million will be used to commence the infrastructural development of poultry farm in the three barracks simultaneously, ” he said.
In his remarks, Chief Bibopiri Ajube said that he had been helping widows of deceased military personnel for almost 10 years, and chose to empower them because of the sacrifices their husbands made for Nigeria.
Ajube called on all the beneficiaries to use the money judiciously to boost their businesses.