Ben Dunno, Warri
Delta State government has said it has appraised the conduct of 2019 general elections and scored the Nigerian Army very high in terms of professionalism and integrity of men and officers deployed for elections duties across the state.
The acting state governor, Barr Kingsley Otuaro, gave this commendation while receiving the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Yusuf Buratai, and other senior officers who were at Government House, Asaba, to commiserate with the government and people of the state on the passage of Major-General David Ejoor.
The army boss had embarked on a 2-day working visit to the state to pay condolence to all stakeholders, especially the family of the former Chief of Army Staff and military governor of the defunct Mid-West state, late Major Gen. David Ejoor, ahead of his final burial.
According to the acting governor, “the elections in Delta State were particularly peaceful and without much drama because of the discipline and the professional outlook of the men of the Nigerian Army during the exercise.
“We want to express satisfaction at the level of professionalism that your men exhibited during the last election. It was commendable.”
He, however, assured the army that the state government would continue to partner the institution to ensure peace and security in all parts of the state, adding “we take the issue of security seriously and so we consider our relationship and partnership with the Nigerian Army very seriously.”
In his speech, COAS who had earlier paid condolence visits to the palaces of the Olu of Warri and that of the Ohworode of Olomu in Warri South and Ughelli South council areas respectively, as well as to the immediate family of the departed former army general in his country home in Ovwor Olomu, said the death of Ejoor was a loss, not just to Delta state, but to the Nigerian Army and Nigeria as a nation.
Speaking at the palace of the Olu of Warri, His Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli, Lt. Gen. Buratai said the army was planning to give a befitting burial to the departed general through joint planning with the Delta and Edo state governments.
He noted that the Nigerian Army had constituted a burial committee that would interface with both the state government and the family to ensure a successful and befitting burial for the late former COAS.
“The Nigerian Army has set up a burial committee and we are looking forward to having a befitting burial for late Maj-Gen. Ejoor in conjunction with the Edo and Delta states governments.
“Late Maj- Gen. Ejoor was a professional soldier, loyal and contributed to the development of the country. He served Nigeria diligently,” he said.
In his response, the Olu of Warri thanked the Army Chief for the visit and the role of the military in ensuring peace in the entire Niger Delta region and Nigeria in general.
“There is peace in the country. I appeal that you do not relent in your effort at sustaining the peace. Your officers have been so wonderful, you can establish brigades in some areas around the riverine where there are government facilities to provide more military presence.
“We held Ejoor at very high esteem; he stood by us anytime we had challenges, he was important to us. Thank you for coming to condole with us and his family,” the monarch said.
Also receiving the COAS and his entourage at his palace, the Ohworode of Olomu kingdom, HRM Ovie, Ogbon Ogoni Oghoro, thanked the army chief for the condolence visit to both the deceased family and Olomu kingdom.
“Your coming at this time of grief is highly appreciated. Thank you for deeming it fit to visit the home of my departed son, Ejoor, at Ovwor in Olomu kingdom.
“We are proud of Ejoor. As a military governor of the defunct Mid-Western State, Ejoor fought for the unity of Nigeria even when people were agitating for the division.
“There was no case of corruption preferred against him till his demise,” the centenarian monarch said.
Among the COAS entourage were Maj-Gen Jamil Sarham, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) the 6 Division, Port Harcourt and the Commander, Sector 1 of the Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), Col. Baba Manu, among others.