By Oki Samson
As part of the weeklong activities marking the Nigerian Army Day celebration 2021 which is 158th of its kind, the 9 Brigade Army Cantonment, Ikeja conducted a medical outreach to its host community, the Onigbongbo kingdom on Saturday, 3rd July 2021. The medical outreach held at the Onigbongbo Palace square further strengthens the existing relationship between the Army and the host community. It also ensures that the outlook of the Army to the general public is not just tough-looking men and women bearing weapons but an organization which has a harmonious civil-military relations.
Flagging off the community health programme covered by Oki Samson of Trek Africa Newspaper, the Brigade Commander, Brig. Gen. MLD Saraso commenced with a note of appreciation, ‘I most sincerely appreciate the Chief of Army Staff, Maj. Gen. Farouk Yahaya through the GOC 81 Division of the Army, Maj. Gen. Lawrence Fejokwu for the honour and confidence reposed on all of us here to serve in this capacity at this time in the 9 Brigade. I will also like to express our profound gratitude to our host community, the Onigbongbo community represented by HRH Oluwasegun Isaac Ajasa and accompanied by his chiefs. To all of our partners too numerous to mention, I want to say thank you for your support towards this year’s event.’
‘The essence of the medical outreach is that it is part of the activities celebrating this year’s Nigerian Army Day celebration which is an annual event. This same exercise is being conducted in other places all over the federation. We held the Jumat prayers on Friday, today we as having medical outreach, tomorrow we will have interdenominational service. On Monday, we will have distribution of food palliative organized by Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association taking place within the cantonment’, Trek Africa Newspaper gathered.
The Brigade Commander furthered: ‘Onigbongbo is our immediate host community and we feel that charity begins at home and we need to have peace with our neighbors before we think of extending peace to other places. We are reaching as many persons as possible. They will be registered, routine checks will be conducted and drugs will be prescribed. Our hospital is open to those who may need further consultation or they may go hospitals of their choice’
Voicing the loyalty of the men and officers in the Brigade Command, Brig. Gen. Saraso reiterated ‘I want to reaffirm our unalloyed loyalty to the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR and all our constituted authority through the chain of command for the support that we receive in organizing this Nigerian Army Day celebration 2021’.
The Acting Commanding Officer of the 9 Brigade Medical Centre, Major NN Ani spoke more on the essence of the outreach. ‘In line with the Army headquarters schedule to celebrate the Army Day, 9 Brigade deemed it fit to reach out to our host community with this medical outreach so that they can reap the benefits of medical consultation and prompt treatment.’
She added: ‘This is to enhance positive health sensitization and particularly individual health awareness among the people. This will culminate in an enhanced health consciousness in the Onigbongbo kingdom thereby making sure that we adhere to ‘a stitch in time saving nine’.
The army doctor praised the benevolence, support and seasoned experience of the Brigade Commander for bringing the event to fruition.
Present at the event, the Oba of Onigbongbo kingdom, Oba Oluwasegun Adeyemi Ajasa remarked: ‘I will like to express our appreciation on behalf of the good people and the council of chiefs in Onigbongbo for counting this community worthy of this medical outreach. As we say health is wealth, I want to commend the organizers and pray that God will give you wisdom to overcome all the security challenges in this nation. I use this opportunity to thank the Brigade Commander, Brig. Gen. Saraso and say our relationship with the cantonment is cordial.’
Alh. Tajudeen Irawo, Jagunmolu of Onigbongbo kingdom added: ‘they have been doing it for us and they are doing fine. It is one thing to organize programme, it’s another for people to come out. This is a testament to our love for peace. We are peaceful people, Onigbongbo is a peaceful area. We have cordial relationship with the Nigerian Army.’
Alh. Tajudeen Abdulgafar noted: ‘It is a great opportunity for the inhabitants of Onigbongbo to benefit from the Nigerian Army. God Almighty will continue to bless them and remember them for good. I will tell our people to make sure they pay attention to their health. It is when you are healthy that you can pursue your aspirations. I will also pray that God bless us with money to be able to care for ourselves and our family.’