There was wild jubilation in Nguru, a local government area in Yobe State, as 452 officers undergoing Regimentation and Leadership Training at the 241 RECCE Model Battalion, Nguru, took a fitness walk through the town.
Apparently feeling some air of safety, given the huge number of soldiers involved in the march, a part of the crowd joined in the walk, singing victory songs along with the soldiers, in jubilation.
Our correspondent, who witnessed the exercise that lasted for about two and a half hours, reports that residents of the ancient town came out in droves, hailing and cheering the soldiers as they marched through the streets of the town.
The almost five-kilometre walk, according to the Commanding officer, Edwin Ugorji, was aimed at “ascertaining the fitness level and combat readiness of the officers against any form of challenge they may find themselves after they would be deployed to protect and defend the country against any enemy, external or internal”.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that all the officers are graduates of Nigeria Defence Academy and are on a three months Regimentation and Leadership Training at the 241 RECCE Model Battalion.
The fitness walk, which started from the parade ground of the barracks, took the officers into the town as they navigated from the east flank through the market, the roundabout and back to the barracks.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that 26 female officers were among the 452 graduating officers who would be passing out next Friday.
Some of the jubilating residents, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES, said they feel very safe with the soldiers around them.
Amodu Tella, a fisherman said, the presence of the soldiers from Jaji-Maji, Nguru and Machina has given them confidence to do their fishing activities on the Yobe-Kumadugu river with confidence.
“I feel very protected with the soldiers in this barracks. We also have a cordial relationship among them. We are doing our fishing business here without any harassment by the army and we are very happy about that,” Mr Tella said.
Hussaina Abubakar said, “I am happy that we don’t have Boko Haram in this area. Nguru is very safe for us and we are grateful for what the soldiers are doing for us. We don’t have any issue with them and they are protecting us very well”.
Mamuda Nguru was delighted with the show of force and the march of the troops through the town.
“This marching gives me a lot of joy and hope that we are well protected. It gives confidence to the people and clearly sends a signal to the enemy that the soldiers are in charge in this area,” Mr Nguru said.
Commanding Officer Ugorji, in a brief remark, said the officers are well equipped and combat-ready to deal with any form of external or internal agression against the country.
According to him, “my AOR from Jaji Maji to Machina and Nguru are highly fortified to fight any form of criminality, banditry and armed robbery. As far as we know, Boko Haram is over. What we are dealing with now is some form of criminalities like banditry, armed robbery and criminals”.
The officer also called on the people of the area to cooperate with the security operatives by providing useful information on suspicious characters in their midst. He said this would make the security agents work better so they can sleep with their eyes closed.