The Special Guest of Honour at the 14 Brigade West African Social Activities (WASA) for Year 2022 and Executive Governor of Abia State Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, and former Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika (rtd), both lauded the Nigerian Army for promoting culture and unity in diversity at Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Barracks Ohafia on Saturday 28 January 2023.
Ikpeazu, who was represented by the Honourable Commissioner for Public Utility Honourable Kingsley Imaga, said the Nigerian Army had played a pivotal role in preserving the unity, culture, traditions as well as the security of Nigeria, and 14 Brigade has diligently exemplified these in Abia State. Adding that the sacrifices of the Nigerian Army have led to its increased respect, honour, dignity, and appreciation by the Nigerian people. Stating that “the display of rich culture I have witnessed today has shown our rich cultural heritage.”
The former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika, lauded the Army for promoting culture and unity in diversity through social interaction of its personnel, their families, friends, and host communities. He said, “Nigerian Army is blessed with personnel of different traditions and cultures which cut across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria.”
In his words, he further remarked that “I am particularly happy to be here because just 12 years ago, this Brigade was established under my watch, the Brigade has contributed in no small measure towards ensuring security in this part of the Country.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the Commander 14 Brigade, Brigadier General Adegoke Adetuyi, highlighted the origin of WASA in the Nigerian Army. He further expressed gratitude to the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya for the directive to host the WASA and for availing resources for its conduct, being an annual practice in the Nigerian Army to mark the end of the calendar year, and usher in activities for the new year. He also expressed high regard for the General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Major General UT Musa, for his quality guidance in the conduct of the Brigade’s activities in the Year 2022.
General Adetuyi stated that it is a forum to bring together officers, soldiers, families and friends of the Brigade, including the host communities, in a conducive atmosphere to interact and celebrate culturally, socially as an entity while showcasing Nigerian rich traditions. He added that it is another way to promote Civil – Military Cooperation in the Brigade’s Area of Responsibility, which covers Abia State.
He reiterates the need for all to be law abiding, especially as electioneering activities have heightened, in order to have a peaceful conduct of 2023 General Elections in the State. He further expressed the readiness of the Brigade to give necessary assistance to all relevant agencies, especially the Nigerian Police being the lead agency in providing security for the elections. He mentioned the earlier collaborations with the police in ensuring security for collection of Permanent Voters Cards in the State.
Highlights of the event was the display of diverse cultural dances, tug of war, Beating of the Retreat, bornfire, and group photographs.