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The Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma has pointed out that his administration will continue to support and collaborate with the Army, noting that the officers and soldiers have done a lot to keep Nigeria as one.
He spoke on Friday 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 Southeast.
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 Army.
The governor recalled that a few years ago – 2020, 2021 and 2022 – the whole world thought Imo would be excised from the Nigerian nation as a result of insecurity and expressed happiness that the 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 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 Army and other security agencies for the good job they are doing.
He said 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 Army officers, noting that “his knowledge of the Southeast 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 a 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 Uzodinma 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 said: “If Nigeria must experience civilisation, the 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 Uzodinma took the opportunity to invite the COAS and his team to his second term inauguration slated for next Monday.
Lt. Gen. Lagbaja told the governor that he was in Imo State on operational tour of the Army formations in the Southeast 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 visited Abia, Ebonyi and Enugu states and thanked Governor Uzodimma for cutting short his official assignment in Abuja to receive him and his team.
Also, the COAS was full of appreciation to the governor for his support to the Army, especially the 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze.
He congratulated the governor on his re-election and ahead of his forthcoming swearing-in.