The officers and soldiers of the Onitsha Military Cantonment, early Saturday morning took residents of Onitsha by surprise by opening up over 13 years blocked drainage from Blessed Iwene Tansi Major Seminary Onitsha to Boromeo Hospital junction also in Onitsha.
The area of the Army environmental exercise which is a stone throw to the house of late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, has been flooded by water that should have passed through the blocked drainages and have therefore been causing traffic hold up, before the Army intervention.
Saturday exercise by the Army in Onitsha, was its third since 2016, as they had opened up a blocked seven years old drainage along Onitsha Owerri Road by Electrical International Market Obosi in 2016 and 15 years old blocked drainage at Park Road, opposite Shoprite Onitsha in 2018.
The clean up exercise which was supervised by the Commander of the 302 Artillery Regiment, (General Support) Onitsha Col Yakubu Bwala, now promoted to the next rank, saw both officers and soldiers, including the Commander, either helping with shovels to clear the grass that covered the drainages, before the Pay Loader Catapiller, opened up the gutters, or using their shovels to pack while the Catapiller excavate debris into the waiting tipper lorries they hired for the exercise.
Addressing the troops during the exercise the Col. Bwala who was newly promoted to the rank of Brigadier General, said that “Anambra State is our host State and Onitsha is our host community and therefore, we have a duty to ensure the peoples security, and welfare through making their environment clean.
The Onitsha Military Cantonment Commander also said that the clean up exercise is also part of Exercise Atulogwu Udo 1, that recently kicked off in the state, in which free medical service of the Army Medical Outreach team is giving to people at Inyaba community, Umudim Nnewi, Anambra State.
The environmental sanitation exercise by the Army in Onitsha attracted the attention of many motorist and residents, including the Finance Administrator of Blessed Iwene Tansi Major Seminary Onitsha, Rev. Fr. Kingsley Ikwueme and the Chairman, of Onitsha North Local Government Area, Hon. Patrick Aghamba, who commended them for always coming out to face difficult tasks and those that seem impossible to achieve.
The visibly happy Rev. Fr. Ikwueme and Hon. Aghamba, in their separate reactions, said that the Army in Onitsha have set the ball rolling for well meaning individuals, organizations and other security agencies to emulate and be conscious of their environments in which they live and operates.
According to Ikwueme, “the Army has shown today that no matter what you are doing, there is time to attend to the environment we live in, they have shown that their work is not only restricted to the barracks or providing security, they are also providing environmental security for the people, they have shown resilience and strength of the Army to difficult tasks and we and every responsible person must commend them today.
Hon. Aghamba, who is the Chairman of Onitsha North Local Government said that he is short of words to thank the Army for the good work they are doing in the state and their collaboration with the state government to ensure good living standard and environment for the people.