By Vera Wisdom-Bassey
The people of Ajilete Owode, in Yewa South Local Government Area (LGA) of Ogun State, stood in awe when Nigerian Army troops from 81 Division and their counterparts from Lagos recently marched into the community.
It was a training programme, which the Nigerian Army organises yearly to train and re-train officers for proficiency on the job, especially young officers. It was organised by 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Lagos and Ogun states, headed by General Officer Commanding (GOC), Major General Lawrence Fejokwu.
With the insecurity bedevilling the nation, most of them left their families and loved ones for the re-training exercise so that Nigeria’s territory will always be secure from external aggression.
During the live-shooting and weapon-handling exercise, gunshots were fired into the air, prompting the community members to wonder if there was a war. But they soon realised it was a mere show.
At the four-day competition, the 9 Brigade came first and went home with the coveted trophy, while the second position went to 81 Division Brigade.
Speaking at the event, Major General Fejokwu. represented by Brigadier Uwakwe Ajah of Ordinary Commanding Service, charged the young officers who underwent this year’s training in firing, trooping, assembling and obstacle crossing, among others, to see the training as a continuous one.
He added that the exercise was to re-train the young soldiers to face challenges and defend their territory when the need arises.
“Without this type of training, one may easily forget what he knew and become relaxed in the performance of his duties. If the pistol is not positioned well, it will miss target, but when it is well positioned, it will hit target,” he said.
The programme, which kicked off August 9, exposed the personnel to different activities, such as map reading, navigation, combat swimming competition and others.
The grand finale was also witnessed by the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu, top echelons of the army and dignitaries from all walks of life.
During the obstacle crossing challenge, brave officers were able to go through the exercise successfully, while some could not make it to the final.
Fejokwu presented five vehicles to some deserving officers, which were donated by Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
During the presentation, Fejokwu, who expressed delight with the 9 Brigade Commander on the quality of infrastructure he met on ground, pledged his commitment to better securing all Nigerians, irrespective of where they hail from.
He commended the two female officers among the over 100 participants and urged them not to give up even in the face of challenges.
Also speaking for the Nigerian Army, 9 Brigade Command, Ikeja Cantonment, Lagos, Brig-Gen. Lander Saraso, was excited, having watched the brilliant performance by the officers.
He charged all the participants to continue to keep fit and stay ready to fight for the security of all Nigerians. He intimated them on the overall objectives of the tournament which was to get prepared in dealing with enemies of the state.
He stated that the training was also to improve leadership skills among the young officers and to prepare them for higher responsibility.
On his part, Odumosu emphasiszed the need for synergy among security agencies across the country for a safer Nigeria. According to him, this is to show how the police, army, DSS and other security agents provide adequate security for all citizens.