The Commander 2 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Brig.- Gen. Ken Chigbu, has called for peace and unity across all the ethnic and religious groups in Nigeria.
Chigbu made the call on Monday during a public speaking engagement in commemoration of the Nigerian Army Day Celebration held at Community Secondary School Aka Offot, Uyo.
The theme of the celebration is; “Sound Administration as a Panacea for Effective Military Operations.”
The commander said that the unity and interest of Nigeria are beyond the interest of any group, stressing that every group should make deliberate efforts in ensuring that the country remains an indivisible whole.
He noted that cooperation among the people would help to tackle some security threats.
He added that the essence of the Army Day Celebration was to look beyond the Nigerian Civil War and embrace the need to address problems peacefully rather than resorting to arms.
“The celebration started July 6, 1978, and since then it has been an annual event.
“It is high time we looked beyond the Nigeria civil war and embrace the mechanism put in place by the Federal Government of Nigeria to ensure that we remain one and indivisible nation, call Nigeria.
“If you take one stick of broom, you cannot sweep anything but if you take a collection of the sticks of brooms and have a bunch of brooms you can sweep the dirt in the room; the message is that Nigeria is beyond the aspiration of any religious or ethnic group.
“We must try to remain one. This is what all the presidents and even the present president is harping on. We are fighting that, as a nation, we remain one,” Chigbu said.
The commander urged the students to take their studies seriously, adding that the Nigerian Army has many career opportunities that can accommodate their aspirations.
“In the military, we don’t entertain failure, therefore, you have to work hard, it is a voluntary Army and you will not be forced to join, another we are marketing ourselves to you, whatever career aspiration you have, we have it in the Nigerian Army.
“We have teachers, nurses, doctors, psychologists, business administrators etc, the only arm we don’t have is the marine engineers but we have the amphibian wing that can take care of that.
“Shun cultism and other social vices that would jeopardize your future,” he said.
Earlier, the principal of the Community Secondary school, Aka Offot, Mr Ime John commended the 2Brigade for the choice of his school for the event.
John promised to ensure that the level of discipline he had instilled in the students would be maintained.
He urged the Army to also use the school in next year’s celebration.
The principal appealed to the army to draft an officer to the school, that would protect the students and teachers in order to forestall any form of infraction.
Our correspondent reports that the high point of the event was the presentation of souvenirs by the commander to the principal and management of the school.