From Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Farouk Yahaya, has appealed to Nigerians to volunteer information to the Nigerian Army and the security agencies to curb the insecurity bedevilling the country.
Gen Yahaya has also appealed to Nigerians to see the Nigerian Army as their personal property that is there to protect them as we do not have another country to call our own.
The COAS made the appeal while flagging off a free medical outreach programme to mark the 2021 Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL), Mpape, a satellite town in Abuja.
The army chief said that the Nigerian Army, sister services and other security agencies need more intelligence from citizens to curtail the growing spate of insecurity in the country, saying these criminal elements do not fall from the sky but live in the communities and the community members know the bad eggs amongst them.
He said timely information on the activities of these criminals would assist the military and other security agencies put an end to the security threats in Nigeria.
‘I want to urge you to support us – the Nigerian Army, your army. What the community can do every time is to give the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Police and all security agencies across the board relevant information that could lead us to squarely address these security challenges that are bedevilling us. These criminals live within us, sometimes we know them, we know those who are involved in kidnapping, cattle rustling, armed robbery, or one chance whatever the nomenclature,’ he stated.
‘They live within us, we know them, sometimes they are our neighbours. So what we can do to help in the fight against insecurity is to provide information to security agencies. Bring this information to the Army where we are deployed and other services. We all work together to provide security and arrest these security challenges that we are facing. So I urge you to continue to support us and other security agencies because we work together so that we can bring peace and security across Nigeria. This will enable all of us to go about our normal businesses without hindrance.’
He noted the importance of NADCEL, said free medical outreach and other projects are carried out by the Nigerian Army across the country during the period targeting less privileged persons in its host communities.
‘So, as I said earlier, this outreach is being carried out in Units and Formations of the Nigerian Army across the federation, targeting communities where these services are most needed.’
The army chief while noting that Mpape community was selected in FCT because of the population and the organizing committee’s assessment of the needs of the people around the area, said that the Nigerian Army would provide one thousand lenses for those with eye problems who may need them after due examination.
This he said is in addition to free medical examinations and treatments, as well as distribution of treated mosquito nets and wheelchairs, among other medical items.
He tasked the community members to avail themselves of the opportunity presented by the Nigerian Army to treat diseases covered by the free medical outreach.
In his welcome address, the Acting Corps Commander Medical Services Army, Col IB Sholebo said that an estimated one thousand persons are expected to benefit from the free medical service in Mpape community, adding that areas of focus include blood sugar check, cancer screening, eye screening as well as treatment.
He said that the focus on screening for all forms of cancer was to dictate it early when it is curable to avoid it becoming cancerous.
Also speaking, the traditional ruler of the community, Alhaji Abubakar Ibrahim Gimba, thanked the Nigerian Army for the free medical outreach saying the gesture has gone a long way to show that the army is not only about fighting but also about caring for citizens.