Uzodimma: I will continue to support, collaborate with the Army

Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State (left), receives souvenir from the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Taoreed Lagbaja when the latter paid a courtesy call with his team on the Governor at Government House Owerri… Thursday.

The Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma has said that his government will continue to support and collaborate with the Nigerian Army, noting that the officers and soldiers have done a lot to keep Nigeria as one.

He spoke on Thursday at the New Exco Chambers when he received in audience the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja and his team who paid him a courtesy call as part of the schedule of the Army Chief who was on operational tour of Army Formations in the South East.

Governor Uzodimma who thanked the Army Chief and his team for coming to Imo State described the State as the hospitality hub of Nigeria and promised to continue to support the Nigerian Army.

The Governor recalled that few years ago – 2020, 2021 and 2022 – the whole world thought that Imo would be excised from the Nigerian Nation as a result of insecurity and expressed happiness that the Nigerian Army and other security agencies rose to the occasion to the extent that in 2023, when governorship election was held in Imo, it was adjudged the fairest in the Nigerian history.

Acknowledging that the events of the past in Imo were “actually very challenging,” he therefore called on Nigerians and every State in the country to continue to show gratitude to the Nigerian Army and other security agencies for the good job they are doing.

He pledged that in every position he finds himself he will continue to canvas support for the Nigerian Military.

The Governor described Lt. Gen Lagbaja as one of the finest Nigerian Army officers, noting that “his knowledge of the South East where he served as Officer, Commanding 82 Division has become an advantage.”

He reminded the COAS and the audience that in “the life of every nation there must be time of challenges and Nigeria is not an exception,” noting that “it takes one or two men to salvage the Nation from such challenges.”

Governor Uzodimma therefore urged the Army Chief and his team to continue in their job of defending the territorial sovereignty of the country which they have sworn to an oath and assured of the Nation’s continued support.

He pointed out that “if Nigeria must experience civilization, the Nigerian Army, from their wealth of knowledge, must be part of it.”

He congratulated Lagbaja on his appointment as the COAS and assured him that his doors are always open to receive him.

Governor Uzodimma seized the opportunity to invite the COAS and his team to his second term inauguration slated for Monday, January 15, 2024.

Earlier, Lt. Gen. Lagbaja told the Governor that he was in Imo State on operational tour of the Army Formations in the South East and thought it wise to use the occasion to pay a courtesy call on him.

He said the tour was meant to access the Army personnel, their operational functions and deployment, State of their barracks, welfare and readiness to attend to their assigned duties.

He said he had earlier visited Abia, Ebonyi and Enugu States and thanked Governor Uzodimma for cutting short his official assignment in Abuja to personally receive him and his team.

Also, the COAS was full of appreciation to the Governor for all his support to the Nigerian Army, especially the 34 Artillery Brigade Obinze.

On a positive note, the number soldier acknowledged that the security situation in Imo State has drastically improved as a result of the combined efforts of the Military and other security agencies.

He then assured the Governor that “the troops in Imo and other States of the South East are willing and ready to defend the zone and protect the law abiding citizens of the State to go about their normal businesses without harassment and intimidation.”

He congratulated the Governor on his re-election and ahead of his forth coming swearing-in ceremony.

The Chief of Army Staff was accompanied by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 82 Division, Nigerian Army Enugu, Major Gen. H. T. Dada, the Commander 34 Artillery Brigade Obinze, Brig. Gen. B. A Lawal, Principal Staff Officers from Army Headquarters, 32 Division and those of 34 Artillery Brigade.

The Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prof. Placid Njoku, the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Cosmas Iwu, the Chief of Staff Barr. Nnamdi Anyaehie, the Deputy Governor-elect, Lady Chinyere Ekomaru, former House of Representatives member, Rt. Hon Jerry Alagboso and some members of the State Expanded Executive Council joined the Governor in receiving the Army Chief and his entourage.