The 7 Guards Battalion’s West Africa Social Activity (WASA), the regimental social gathering of officers, soldiers and their families as well as their civilian friends in a conducive atmosphere to unwind and mark the end of the year took place on Saturday December 8, 2018 at Lungi Barracks Parade Ground.
Thousands of families, civilian friends of soldiers and officers were on hand to witnesses the colourful atmosphere of several traditional and cultural displays by the rich, multi-cultural groups of Nigeria which held spectators spell-bound.
Commander, Guards Brigade, Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Umar Tama Musa who was visibly excited by the performance of the cultural groups, disclosed that owing to the very tasking job and training schedule of Guards Brigade officers and soldiers, WASA has become a veritable opportunity for families to relax in an atmosphere of less tension, conviviality and laughter.
While noting that WASA enhances socio-cultural disposition, the Commander said the events which also provides opportunity for rewards and presentation of gifts enhances good neighbourliness and togetherness.
Special Guest of Honour at the event and Governor of Kogi State, Bello, who was represented by the Commissioner of Local Government & Chieftancy Affairs, Engr. Abubakar Ohare congratulated officers and soldiers of 7 Guards Battalion for the wonderful cultural displays and the comradiere displayed among families.
“On behalf of the Government and people of Kogi State, I wish to express our elation to be invited to participate in this worthy and exciting WASA celebration. We are hereby supporting this event and the organizers with the sum of N1million”, he said.
Eralier, Commanding Officer of 7 Guards Battalion, Lt. Col Mukta Sani Daroda in his welcome address, traced the origin of WASA to the period of the West African Frontier Force when indigenous personnel in the Army celebrated their cultural heritage.
“These were marked with sacrificial offerings at the end of harvest or the beginning of the planting season to usher peace and progress in the new year” he said.
“Delegates were usually sent to the military by village heads to seek the release of soldiers for this yearly ritual. Rather than releasing the soldiers yearly to perform the ritual, the military authority then incorporated it in the army and named it West Africa Social Activity.
Cultural groups that entertained guests included the Ibo cultural group representing Alpha Company, Gbagi cultural group representing Bravo Company, Tiv cultural group representing Charlie Company, Ibira cultural group representing Support Company, Fulani cultural group, Yoruba cultural group and the Calabar cultural group.
Prizes were later presented to winners of various categories.
Highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of an award to the Commander, Guards Brigade, Brigadier General Musa by the World Assembly of Youth (WAY).
In presenting the award, Comrade Preye Ketebu-Brown, Vice President of WAY said, “As we remain in the season of our “Africa Youth Day 2018” commemorations, we are honouring the organizer of this auspicious occasion, Brigadier General UT Musa with our commemorative ‘Award of Excellence’ for exemplary service to the youths of Africa.