Army Renovates Blocks of Classrooms, Donates Desks, Writing Materials To Okenya Comm. Sec . Schl. in Kogi
The Nigerian Army has renovated blocks of classrooms, examination hall and administrative block of the Government Day Secondary School Okenya in Igalamela/Odolu Local Government Areas of Kogi State.
The Army also donated desks, exercise books and writing materials to cater for over 95 students of the school, and offered free medical services for vulnerable residents of Okenya community and its environs as part of its CIMIC activities for the ongoing ”Exercise Enduring Peace”.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony at Okenya, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Farouk Yahaya, said the Nigerian Army had over the years been taken deliberate steps in giving back to the society the cooperation it has received by way of social corporate responsibility.
According to him, the gesture is in line with my vision to have a professional Nigerian army ready to accomplish assigned missions within a joint environment in defence of Nigeria.
Represented by the Commander, Headquarters, Command Army Records (CARs), Maj. Gen. Okpe William Ali, the COAS said he had ensured that the army pay very close attention to the non kinetic aspects of their military operations.
‘’In this respect, the need to ensure that we have a good and cordial relationship with our civil populace and indeed the host communties where we conduct our military operations cannot be overemphasised.
”This cordial relationship necessitated the conception of this school renovation projects which is very much in line with the Civil Military Cooperation (CIMIC) drive of the Nigerian Army,” he said.
He stressed that the CIMIC was tailored to bridging the communication gap between the civil populace and the Nigerian Army.
He noted that the projects being commissioned today was part of the several civil military cooperation related activities executed in various parts of the country.
He expressed optimism that the project would alleviate the infrastructural deficits in educational sector in the communities and complement governments’ efforts towards improvement of education in the long run.
He stressed that the projects would serve the collective needs of all members of the community and its immediate environs.
He emphasized that the Nigerian Army had enjoyed the support and cooperation of the good people of the communities in its bid to surmounting the challenges of insecurity in the country and Kogi State in general.
The army boss assured that Nigerian Army in conjunction with other security agencies would leave no stone unturned in curbing the criminal activities, and ensuring the general security of Nigerians.
He appealed to the communities to see the project as a symbol of friendship between the Nigerian Army and their communities.
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his continued support to the Nigerian Army and for providing the necessary conducive environment for them to carry out their constitutional responsibilities.
He further thanked the Hon Minister of Defence and Chief of Defence Staff for their necessary support and guidance to the Nigerian Army.
He commended the officers and men for their trust, loyalty and zeal to their father land, while remembering the sacrifice of their colleagues who had paid the ultimate price in bringing peace to the country.
He thanked Governor Yahaya Bello and the good people of Kogi State for their unrelented support partuclarly to the Nigerian Army
He urged them to continue to live in peace and harmony and be tolerant of one another.
In his remarks, the State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, eulogised the COAS for the impact the Nigerian Army was making as far as the CIMIC activities was concerned especially in Kogi State.
Represented by his Special Adviser on Education, Science and Technology, Dr Gabriel Ottah, the governor stressed that education remained critical key to all manners of development in any nation.
He said that the administration under his leadership had provided the enabling environment for education and other sectors to thrive in the state.
He noted that the state in 2020 allocated 20 per cent to education sector which has now been increased in the 2022 budget to 30 per cent.
He commended the efforts of individuals and corporate organisations in ensuring quality education in terms of provision of infrastructures and other facilities to schools.
He, however urged the students to be hardworking, obedient and law abiding which remained the key ingredients to success in life.
”We know there is more to do, but we promise to do more. We assure that the welfare of teachers would be given adequate attention,” he said.
Earlier, Maj. Gen. James Ataguba, the Chief of Army Standard and Evaluation (CASE), and son of the soil, commended the COAS for his good gesture towards the people of his communities.
”Prior to the intervention of the Army, a few fiends and myself had commenced some works but because of the enormity of the work, the community sort the COAS intervention.
”This day we are witnessing one of the results of an approval made by the COAS in the last quarter of last year when he gave directive through the Army Headquarters Department of Civil Muitary Affars to augment the renovation work at GSS Okenya,” he said.
He, therefore thanked the Almighty God for enabling them to witness the auspicious occasion and giving the wherewithal and courage to start as well as complete the project successfully.
The traditional ruler of the community, Chief Sunday Haruna Akor, the Ochalla Attah Igala of Okenya, commended the COAS for the gesture towards his communities, while appreciating Maj. Gen. Ataguba for making the community proud.
The Principal of the school, Mr John Amana, noted that the school was established in 1980, but there was no students on ground as at 2019 when he was posted to the school.
He commended the COAS for the renovation and provision of desks, while appreciating Maj. Gen. Ataguba for facilitating the project, adding that the school now has a population of 85 to 90 students.
He, however noted that the school needed more staff as they were understaffed, also provision of library, security, access road, pipe borne water, ICT house, electricity, among others.
Asides the renovations and the free medical services, the army also donated ten pieces of exercise books and writing materials to each of the students.
The beneficiaries of the medical services, who also received free screening, drugs and treated mosquito nets, thanked the COAS for remembering the vulnerable at the grassroots.
Patience Abu and Alimat Mustapa, expressed their overwhelming joy for the gesture from the Nigerian Arny, and for distributing exercise books to their children.
The highlight of the occasion was the presentation of souvenir to the governor and the traditional ruler, by the CAR Commander on behalf of the COAS.