Maiduguri grounded as Generals storm city for Nigeria Army Day Celebration

Residents of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, Monday woke up to yet another day of trekking as soldiers barricaded major routes in the city in honour of top army generals, who are visiting for this year’s Army Day Celebration.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Kenneth Minima  had on Sunday led Nigeria’s topmost generals to Maiduguri where this year’s celebration is holding.

While military helicopters hover at lower altitude over the city of Maiduguri in an unusual kind of surveillance, soldiers on ground were busy asking commuters to either turn back home or seek other routes to their destinations on foot.

The office of the Army Public Relations  at the 7 Division Nigeria Army had said the annual Army Day Celebration, usually held in Abuja, was moved to Maiduguri to boost the morale of troops fighting the Boko Haram insurgency in northeast Nigeria.

Tukur Gusau, a colonel, the spokesman of the 7 Division, said in a statement that this year’s celebration, is focusing on the theme: “Equipping the Nigerian Army to Enhance Operational Efficiency in Combating Threats to National Security”.

General Minima and other top generals who arrived Maiduguri Sunday would participate in the concluding events of the Celebration, which begun Friday July 3 with Friday prayers in Mosques.

The event continued on Sunday with church services at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Church all in Maimalari Cantonment, Maiduguri

Mr. Gusau also said as part of the celebration, the medical team of the 7 Division Hospital conducted a two-day Medical outreach  on 4th and 5th July  at the Shehu’s palace and IDP camp located at the Arabic Teachers College, Maiduguri.

Today, Monday, Mr. Minimah will lead other senior military officers to pay courtesy visits on the Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima; and the Shehu of Borno, HRH Dr ABubakar Ibn Umar Garbai Elkanemi.

The event will climax with the Chief of Army Staff addressing and decorating troops with medals at 212 Battalion Parade Ground of the Maimalari Cantonment, Maiduguri, by 4p.m. Monday.

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