Gov. Diri: Supportive of Nigerian Army
The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Jamal Abdulsalam, on Thursday lauded Governor Douye Diri, of Bayelsa State for supporting the army and troops posted in the state.
Abdulsalam, who led officers of the division to visit Diri in Government House Yenagoa said out of the four states under the division, he chose to visit Bayelsa first because of Diri’s tremendous assistance to the army.
Abdulsalam said: “The 6 Division Nigeria Army has Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta and Akwa Ibom states as part of its area of responsibility. However, out of these four states, of course, I am coming to pay this courtesy call to the governor.
“This is not by coincidence; it is because the Nigeria Army has enjoyed tremendous corporation and assistance from your government. This is well known and well documented. Our troops that are deployed to Bayelsa State have reported not once, not twice, constantly about the corporation they enjoy from Bayelsa State government”.
Abdulsalam recalled that during the flood disaster, the troops helped in evacuation and distribution of materials to victims saying the army was ready to assist the state in handling any issue of concern.
He said: “We pledge to always be ready to assist the state government wherever it needs our assistance not necessarily in terms of natural disasters, in any area the state government deems it fit that we can come to help we are ready, we are able and we are willing to help”.
The GOC urged Diri to help the army in developing the newly created 16 Brigade in the state especially in the area of providing accomodations for them.
“So I am just pleading with His Excellency in his normal and usual magnanimity to continue to assist us especially in terms of accommodation for our troops. Most of the soldiers are now living in town and they only come to the barracks in the morning to work which is not well in terms of how we operate.
“We are mindful of the fact that to build a house in Bayelsa is not the same with building house in my village, in Kano. If I want to build a house in Kano, if we start digging maybe before the next two, three hours, we will have the foundation ready.
But here I know the challenges and I know the cost implication”.
He, however, said: “Be that as it may, we are still pleading wherever it is possible even if it is one, two blocks that can be put in place to help ameliorate the problem for the soldiers.
“On our part, we will continue to do our job, we will continue to do the job the way it is supposed to be done, we will continue to deliver on our mandate to provide security wherever we are to ensure there is security of lives and properties.
“We will continue to do that to also ensure that the crude oil that is coming out from this blessed land also gets to its destination for the benefit of everybody; that is the communities, the government and the people of Nigeria.
“That is why we are here and that is what we will try and do. So, count on our support anytime there is any issue, we are here. Whatever it is within our jurisdiction, within the resources available to us, within our power, we will try and deliver and do it”.
Responding, Diri promised to assist the army in providing accommodation for soldiers to enable them perform their duties.
He also expressed appreciation to the Army for the support rendered during the burial of his father and commended the GOC for attending the funeral in person.
“Let me appreciate you for being part of the funeral rites of my late father. We are happy to receive you here because security is our number one priority. That is why our state is relatively peaceful,” he said.
He advised the Nigerian Army to be professional and neutral during the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
He said: “Your command has ensured good cooperation with our government.
Bayelsa is moving close to a very important election. In the last election, we had the army and others playing their roles effectively and without getting into politics, and we hope the same will play out during the forthcoming election. Just be apolitical and professional,” Diri said.