Maj.-Gen. Abdul Khalifa, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, on Tuesday supported 1,000 persons with disabilities with relief materials in Maiduguri, Borno state.
Presenting the items to the beneficiaries, Khalifa, who was represented by Lt.-Col. Andrew Wuyep, Commander of 195 Battalion of the Army, disclosed that the gesture was in continuation of its efforts toward supporting the vulnerable groups.
He said that the event, which witnessed the distribution of foods, drinks, noodles, clothes and undisclosed amount of money was meant to improve the living standard of the beneficiaries.
“We also provided cash support to them and engaged them to pray for victory for the unity of the country, our leaders as well as our troops that are executing the counter insurgency campaign in the frontline.
“We have initiated several programs as part of our efforts geared at winning the hearts and minds of the civil population to support the army’s counter-insurgency campaigns in line with the goals of the Chief of Army Staff.
“We are at a time that the experiences of the ravages of terrorism need to be overcome not just through the use of the repressive apparatus, but also through enhancing the relationship between the military and the people for law and order to be sustained and peace and security to endure.
“In life, certain experiences could turn out to offer opportunities in ways never envisaged towards building a more peaceful, more prosperous and more secure society.
“It is therefore important to note in all these that it was not enough to leave issues of security to the military, police and other sister agencies alone; civilians also have a role to play to ensure their security and safety and sustenance of peace.
“The relationship between the military and the civilian population has greatly improved as gone are the days that civilians are apprehensive resenting their support to the Nigerian Army.
“This is no doubt the result of a conscious efforts to bring the community close. The community has also shown that it can be trusted to play a positive role to enforce law and order and build a safe and secure society,”said the GOC.
The GOC reiterated the determination of the Nigerian military to restoring lasting peace and normalcy in the entire North-East and urge the people to support the campaign to end terrorism.
In his remarks, Abubakar Bulama, one of the beneficiaries, commended the GOC for identifying with the persons with disabilities.
Bulama appeal to the government to revive it’s skill acquisition and vocational training centers in the state to enable them engage in empowerment activities that would open doors of opportunity for them.
He listed some of the skills they could be empowered on to include; cap knitting, shoe making, tie and dye, beads makings as well as insecticide production among others.