The Nigerian Army has organised free medical treatment for residents of 81 autonomous communities of Aboh Mbaise, Ahiazu Mbaise and Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government Areas of Imo.
The communities benefited from the outreach organised in Umuneator-Nguru autonomous community of Aboh Mbaise LGA on Tuesday.
Flagging off the programme, Brigade Commander, 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze near Owerri, Brig.- Gen. Raymond Utsaha, said that it was part of ‘Exercise Golden Dawn’ recently launched in the state.
He added that the programme was part of activities captured under the brigade’s civil-military cooperation, aimed at changing the negative notions by some civilians about the army.
This, he said, was in line with the initiative of the Chief of Army Staff, Maj.- Gen. Farouk Yahaya, to further ease the job of addressing security challenges in the state.
Utsaha thanked leaders of the community for the opportunity given to the army to showcase the cordial relationship between it and the civilians.
“Nigerian Army is your army and today’s event is an indication that there is a cordial relationship between the military and civilians.
“Exercise Golden Dawn is aimed at addressing security challenges and we cherish the cooperation between the community and the army because it builds people’s confidence in us and makes our job easier.
“Our hospitals are open to the public, while the leftover medicines from today’s outreach will be donated to the community health centre,” he said.
In his remarks, the traditional ruler of the host community, Eze Leo Nwokocha, thanked the army for thinking toward the people and pledged continued collaboration with the military.
Nwokocha, who is also the Chairman of, Mbaise Council of Traditional Rulers, urged residents of the community to take advantage of the free medical treatment, noting that it was part of the government’s efforts to satisfy the yearnings of the Imo people.
“We are grateful to the Nigerian army for this initiative and I call on our people to seize the opportunity and get treated without charge,” he said.
Reacting, one of the beneficiaries, Mr Bernard Eke, 80, thanked the army for bringing succour to the people of Mbaise and urged residents of nearby communities to take advantage of the opportunity.
Also, 16-year-old Miss Osinachi Ndubuisi, who had hitherto battled frequent heart seizures, expressed optimism that the medication administered on her would address her health challenge.
NAN reports that one of the high points of the event was the presentation of an award to Nwokocha by Utsaha, in recognition of his contributions to civil-military cooperation in the state.