The Nigerian Army has offered free medical and environmental sanitation services to the people of Kogi as part of activities to commemorate the 2017 Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL).
Maj. Michael Bokos, Regimental Medical Officer, Medical Reception Station, Army Records, Lokoja, who led the medical team on Saturday, told newsmen that the army was celebrating itself to show its friendliness with the public.
“It is just a way to showcase ourselves to the general public that we are civil-friendly, and interacting with our communities in terms of security, sanitation, healthcare, among others.
“Today, we felt that it is necessary to come out here and offer free medical checkups and treatment to the people as directed by the Army Headquarters all over the country.
“Besides, we are also rendering community service in terms of sanitation such as clearing and cleaning of drainages, cutting grasses, and providing aid to keep the environment clean.
“This is why you are seeing military men on the streets carrying brooms, cutlasses and other tools to participate in community service,” Bokos said.
Mrs Rosemary Osikoya, the state’s Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, said the government’s call for stakeholders’ participation in community service was yielding results.
“Today, the Nigerian Army is participating in environmental sanitation; the decision is solely that of the military, we salute their initiative and look forward to more community, group and organisation initiated actions.
“We are delighted that the military left the barracks to clean our drainages, we are appreciative for having lots of responses in line with the Gov. Yahaya Bello New Direction Blueprint,” she said.
Newsmen report that the army personnel offered medical care for malaria, hypertension, body mass index as well as random investigation of glucose content in the blood, among others.
They also gave out drugs to the beneficiaries for free.
One of the beneficiaries, Mr John Abejide, a student of the Federal University, Lokoja, appluaded the Nigerian Army for the good gesture.
“It is a great thing that the army is giving people free treatment to celebrate their day.
“I was surprised because something of this nature is very rare. I commend them for that, may God bless them.
NAN reports that NADCEL is an important annual event in the calender of Nigerian Army, meant to showcase its roles, capabilities and modest achievements.
It also affords the Nigerian Army the opportunity to relate with the larger society and collaborate with them on maintenance of law and order as well as ensuring security of lives and property.
The theme for this year’s NADCEL is “Sustaining the Success of the Nigerian Army in Tackling Contemporary and Emergency Security Challenges”.