The Nigerian Army has called on Nigerians to support and pray for officers and soldiers as they put their lives on the line to defend the country from internal and external threats.
Brig.-Gen. Stevenson Olabanji, the outgoing Commander of 2 Brigade Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, made the call on Sunday at an inter-denominational church service to mark 153 years of existence of the Nigerian Army.
He said the day was marked out to celebrate the living and honour officers and soldiers who paid the supreme sacrifice with their lives.
According to him, citizens must honour their memories by showing love to the families of both the living and deceased personnel.
“The Nigerian army is celebrating its 153 years of existence, and over the years has remained a bastion of national unity and contributed to national development.
“The journey so far has been very interesting and challenging at the same time, but over the years the army has defended the country to its best abilities.
“During this time we have lost officers and soldiers, and so, today, we celebrate the living and remember our fallen comrades.
“We also pray that God should continue to provide for and protect the families of our lost heroes who sacrificed their lives for peace and prosperity of our country,’’ he said.
Olabanji, who is on posting to command 3 Brigade Nigerian Army, Kano, said the army recorded several successes in the last one year in spite of daunting challenges.
He said that successes were recorded in the fight against insurgency and illegal oil bunkering among others.
Olabanji commended officers and soldiers of the brigade and residents of the state for their support during his time as brigade commander.
“I return all glory to God because it is neither my strength nor power that I was able to accomplish the little I achieved as Commander of 2 Brigade.
Similarly, Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA), also donated several bags of rice, cartons of indomie noodles, toiletries and other consumables to Saviour’s Orphanage in Port Harcourt.
Mrs Yemisi Olabanji, Zonal Coordinator of NAOWA 2 Brigade, Port Harcourt, and wife of the outgoing Brigade Commander, said the gift were part of the activities marking the Army Day celebrations.
She said the association would not relent in its resolve to provide support for the less privileged in the society.