The Nigerian Army has urged residents of Essien Udim communities in Akwa Ibom State, who fled their homes due to the security crisis in the area, to return.
The Commander, 2 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Mohammed Inuwa, a brigadier-general, made the call at the opening of a free medical outreach, on Tuesday in Essien Udim Local Government Area.
He said security had been restored after the crisis that engulfed the communities in March.
Mr Inuwa said the free medical exercise was in commemoration of the 2021 edition of Nigerian Army Day of Celebration, and that it was aimed at supporting the health needs of the people.
“We are happy that the people have confidence in the army,” he said.
“They are just coming out of a security challenge. This exercise will support them hugely. We are happy with the turnout.
The Chairman of Essien Udim, Anthony Luke, commended the army for the gesture.
Mr Luke, represented by a former chairman of the council, John Ekanem, described the crisis that engulfed the area as an ‘unnecessary distraction’.
“We appreciate the army for this gesture, the community is happy that they have been remembered.
“We thank you for the assurance of security, our people can now sleep with their two eyes closed,” he said.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), one of the residents, Patricia Inyang, a widow, described the exercise as a demonstration of kindness to the community by the army.
“I had been in a bad state of health for several months, this exercise has enlivened my spirit. I feel better and happier now,” she said.
Another resident, Anthony Okon, commended the army for the exercise. He urged residents “to believe in the assurance that security had returned to their community.”
Several people were displaced from their communities in Essien Udim around April during a military operation to flush out hoodlums who were attacking and killing security officials in the area.
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