No fewer than 500 residents of Akai Efa community in Calabar Municipality local government area of Cross River State, on Saturday, benefited from a medical outreach organised by the 13 Brigade Headquarters, Nigeria Army, Calabar, Cross River State capital.
Flagging off the event, the Commander, 13 Brigade Headquarters, Nigeria Army, Akim Barracks Calabar, Brig. Gen. Everest Okoro, stated that the medical outreach would help in strengthening the relationship between military and the civil populace and above all foster peace between the host community of Akai Efa and the Army, who has stayed in the Community for decades.
Services offered by the Army to its host community included free consultation for all diseases, blood pressure and weight checks, free drugs for all, among others.
Speaking on the theme, ‘Repositioning Nigeria Army in the Joint Operations Environment; Panacea for Success in Addressing Contemporary Security Challenges’, to mark the annual Army Day celebration, Gen. Okoro stated that the Army Day medical outreach is an important event in the calendar of activities of the Nigerian Army.
On why the Army decided to organise the medical outreach, the Brigade Commander said, “It is an occasion used to highlight Nigerian Army roles, capabilities and some novel achievements in the last one year.
“It also affords the institution the opportunity to relate with the larger society, particularly the collaborated efforts geared towards maintenance of law and order as well as security of lives and property.
“This is in line with its constitutional responsibility in aid of civil authority,” he stressed.
The week-long activities, which began on Wednesday, June 29, had a Juma’at prayer and will be rounded off with interdenominational church service on Sunday.
Okoro stated that theme of this year’s Army Day celebration is drawn from the Chief of Army Staff’s vision of “A professional Nigerian Army ready To Accomplish Assigned Missions Within A Joint Environment In Defence Of Nigeria.”
He assured the community residents of the Army’s willingness to do everything within its reach to ensure that those behind insecurity in the country are subdued, for peace to be in the land.
In her remarks, the Village Head, Akai Efa Community, HRH Mrs. Henrietta Efa, lauded the Army for the medical outreach, stressing that many of her subjects were grateful to the soldiers for the free medical services offered them.
“The soldiers have surprised us. We are happy. Nothwitstnding the hard times, they still rendered this kind of service to us. We thank the Army and the military authorities for the show of love and care to our people,” Efa stated.