Army set to unveil first Nigerian built Armoured Personnel Carrier

The Nigerian Army on Friday in Abuja said that it would unveil its “Nigerian built” Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) at the 2012 Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL) in Kaduna.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Azubuike Ihejirika, announced this at a news conference as part of activities lined up for the NADCEL celebration. .

Mr. Ihejirika, represented by Bitrus Kwaji, Chief of Military-Civil Relations, said the local production of APC has saved the nation at least 30 per cent of the cost of the foreign version.

The COAS said the unveiling of the APC is part of the on-going reform in the military and in line with the transformation agenda of the Jonathan administration.

“The transformation agenda of the Federal Government has been the inspiration driving the vision of the COAS to continue to lead the army on the path of professionalism.

“This achievement is part of the transformation agenda of Mr. President for the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to look inwards and the Nigerian Army decided to key into it,” he said.

He said that the high point of the ceremony, expected to be witnessed by President Goodluck Jonathan, would include the unveiling of the APC, Combat Airborne Jump and Helicopter Rappelling.

Mr. Ihejirika said other activities lined up for the event are Combat March and Pep Talk on Old Days in the Infantry Corps by a retired General, Emmanuel Abisoye.

He also listed sanitation at designated places across the country and fire power demonstration, lectures and a novelty football match between the officers and their wives.

Mr. Ihejirika said there would also be free medical services, march past and presentation of UN medals to the families of deceased officers.

He said there would be a visit to the Adonai Orphanage Home and 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna, by Nnenna Ihejirika, President, Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association.

On the choice of Kaduna, Mr. Ihejirika said the army wanted to prove to the public that Kaduna State is safe in spite of its recent security challenges.

According to him, the army has several military institutions in Kaduna, “so, we cannot abandon the state despite the challenges’’.

The theme of the celebration, billed for June 29 to July 6, is: “Partnering the Civil Society Towards Improved Security”.