Imo State governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma has called for deeper military-civilian cooperation, especially in the South East region of the country.
According to the governor, such deeper relationship would help to douse the fear and suspicion of those still living with the unpleasant scars of the civil war which makes them see soldiers as those invited to kill the unarmed civilians.
Governor Uzodimma made the call on Monday, July 4 at Government House in Owerri when the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Faruk Yahaya paid him a courtesy visit.
Gen Yahaya was in the state for the 46th Nigerian Army Day Celebration.
The governor described the theme of the celebration; ‘Repositioning the Nigerian Army in a Joint Operations Environment: A Panacea for Success in Addressing Contemporary Security Challenges’ as apt, topical and reflective of the mood of the country at present.
The governor emphasized the need to develop a framework within which all the security agencies in Nigeria will work jointly and in synergy to confront the security challenges in the country.
He expressed the hope that the fallout from the celebration will be a renewed desire to reposition the Nigerian Army.
Governor Uzodimma appealed to all the security agencies to put aside inter-agency rivalries and continue to share vital intelligence for the overall security of the country.
The governor reiterated the sacrifices the officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army have continued to make for the freedom of the citizens and the protection of territorial integrity of the country, noting that in the course of their duty, some have paid the supreme price for the love of the country.
He recalled that many personnel of the Army have either been maimed or traumatized for life in the course of discharging their duties and assured that their sacrifices will not be in vain.
He reminded the Army top brass that his administration takes the Armed Forces Remembrance Day seriously, particularly as regards commitment to the welfare of the veterans and widows of fallen troops as well as the needs of those who are still serving.
Governor Uzodimma therefore encouraged the soldiers to serve with pride and renewed vigour as his government and others will always stand by them.
He commended the Military for the Civil-Military Cooperation Impact Project which is ready for commissioning in this year’s Army Day Celebration in Imo State.
According to Uzodimma, such laudable gestures are in line with modern practices because “they go a long way in building a healthy relationship between the military and the civilian population”.
The governor expressed his gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for his support and commitment towards the safety of Nigerians.
He commended the Chief of Army Staff and the Military High Command for availing Imo State with troops which helped to contain the security challenges the state faced in the past.
Earlier, Lt. Gen. Yahaya said that the choice of Imo State for the 2022 Army Day Celebration is deliberate because of the support of the government and people of Imo State to the military and the Armed Forces.
He thanked the governor for his support to the military and other security agencies and all his efforts that resulted in the maintenance of peace and security in the country and Imo State in particular.