By Adamu Aliyu Ngulde, Maiduguri
The 7 Division Nigeria Army in Maiduguri, Borno state, had on Saturday offered free medical services and distributed food palliative to hundreds of civilians including, 100 retired soldiers.
The medical outreach and distribution of food palliative was part of the 2020 edition of the Nigeria Army Day Celebration.
Nigeria Army had on Wednesday commenced a three-day celebration which wrapped up on Saturday with the medical outreach and distribution of assorted food palliative.
At the Ngomari-Gana Junior Secondary school, in densely populated Ngomari-London Ciki neighborhood, the soldiers of Nigeria Army, led by the General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Major General Abdul Khalifa-Ibrahim, attended to hundreds of the selected beneficiaries at a well-attended event.
Mr. Khalifa-Ibrahim, said the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, held a press conference on Wednesday in Batsari Katsina state where he declared the NADCEL 2020 opened.
Nigeriia Army medical corp performing surgical operation on a patient during the outreach programme.
On day-2, General Khalifa-Ibrahim said his Division commissioned two critical buildings, which are the Camp Delta force and Combo buildings located with the Maimalari barracks in Maiduguri.
On day-3, the officers and men performed a general cleaning and sanitation exercise at the Baga market areas by removing the refuse and resulting of the drainages.
The medical outreach culminated the exercise, and for the first time in a very long time, the Nigeria army took a significant event under its military-civil relations to a suburb that is populated mostly by the lower class members of the Borno community.
Even before the GOC who is the chief host of the event arrived, the medical team had performed two minor surgical operations on patients. At the same time, the group of Nigerian army medical corps have examined, diagnosed and administered medications for the different ailments presented by the vulnerable and need men and women of the community.
About 15 persons, including retired soldiers with advanced medical challenges, have been referred to the Nigeria Army Hospital at Maimalari barracks for further treatments.
The GOC later led in the direct distribution of palliatives to the selected members of the community who received bags of rice and packs of beverages.
“This medical outreach and the palliation that we give out today is in line with the directives of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, to all army formations across the country,” said Brigadier General Khalifa-Ibrahim.
“All we are doing is that we want to improve our military-civil relationship that even as soldiers we have a human face as well and the army is not just about the operation or going after the Boko Haram in the bush, no. We can also show love and care to the society,” said the GOC.
The Head Teacher of Ngomari-Gana Junior Secondary school, Yagana Bukar, who was one of the community leaders that coordinated the selection of the vulnerable and aged beneficiaries had expressed gratitude to the soldiers for reaching out to them.
“This is certainly not a mean feat, and it would go a long way in alleviating the sufferings of the people,” said Mrs. Bukar.
“We have not received this kind of support in a long time, and we thank the Nigeria Army for idealising this.
“We are now encouraged to double our support and cooperation for soldiers, especially in the fight to return peace to our state.”
The Village Head Ngomari London-Ciki said giving free medical treatment including surgery to a large number of people in a poor community is a huge investment “and we the people of Ngomari London-Ciki are happy and grateful.
“Our community have not received this massive palliation in a long time, and now that it has come, we would reciprocate with gratitude and support for the military. In the past, we give information to the military because it was an order. But now, we are going to take it up as our project to see that more credible information is giving to the military to help us end this insurgency and return the peace that deserted us long ago.