Governor of Oyo State, ‘Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday declared that the officers and the men of the 2 Division of the Nigerian Army, Ibadan, have been contributing hugely to ensuring the security of lives and properties of residents of the state.
This was as the governor called on soldiers to look out for and guard the nation’s democracy and stay true to their military calling by being professional and maintaining the nation’s territorial integrity.
The governor stated these when he received the new General Officer Commanding of the 2 Division Nigerian Army, Major-General Valentine Okoro, at the Courtesy Room of the Governor’s Office, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.
According to him, the officers and men of the Army, especially those of the 2 Division Ibadan, have been contributing to keeping Oyo State safe and secure and their professionalism and dedication to duty have never been in doubt.
“I want to welcome the GOC to our state. Again, I will always appreciate the Nigerian Army but, especially, our officers and men of the 2 Division for your contribution to keeping us safe and secure in Oyo State,” the governor said.
Governor Makinde, who stated that with the concerted efforts of all security agencies and the cooperation of the officers and men of the Division, his administration has been able to stay on top of many security challenges including kidnapping, banditry and other crimes, said his administration will continue to maintain a cordial relationship with the Army.
He said: “I am glad that you have been able to establish the fact that there is a cordial relationship between the officers and men of the Division, especially those staying in the state and the populace. I want to take this opportunity to thank you and ask that we maintain that relationship.
“Since I became governor, the professionalism and dedication to duty of the Division has not been in doubt. We have had challenges, carried out joint clearance operations with my team and other security agencies in Oyo State, especially in the Old Oyo National Park area and we have been largely successful.
“When we had issues with kidnapping along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway corridor, I was scared that we were going to have an exact same situation as the one between Abuja and Kaduna on that road. And in the Old National Park, I saw banditry and there are also illegal miners all over the place. But I didn’t want that kind of situation to develop here in Oyo State. With the concerted effort of the officers and men of the 2 Division, we have been able to stay on top of these two challenges.
“I have heard people say to me that anytime they are coming from Lagos, immediately they get to the border of Oyo State, they relax because they think the worst is behind them. And this is due to the efforts and professionalism of the 2 Division.
“We will ensure that we maintain that relationship. Let me also send a message of gratitude to the Chief of Army Staff. We successfully hosted the Army Day Celebration here and the feedback has been positive for us.”
He equally charged the military to continue to guard the nation’s democracy at this trying period in the country, saying: “I won’t end my speech without thanking the Nigerian Army, leadership, officers and men for looking after our democracy. You have to stay true to your calling, which is to be professional and maintain territorial integrity of this country.
“I know it is a challenging period; we have issues that we are currently into as a country. Price of PMS has doubled because of the removal of subsidy.
“So, there is no doubt that we are in a difficult period but democracy must be guarded and I believe the country will also pass through this phase successfully.”
Earlier in his address, Major-General Okoro affirmed that the stable security experienced in the state is as a result of the cordial relationship between the government and the Nigerian Army.
He assured that the Army would not relent in its core mandate and commitment to improving on the security environment in the state by taking firm positions so as to address violence and criminality.
“I have interacted with my commanders on the ground and I have established that a firm, warm and cordial relationship exists among the state, the government and the residents of the state as well as the Nigerian Army.
“I am very happy about this and wish to express my appreciation to His Excellency because of the warm relationship, which to me, is responsible for the stable security environment we are experiencing in Oyo State.
“We want to assure you, the governor and the good people of Oyo State, that the Nigerian Army is committed to improving the security environment in the state.”