The 2 Brigade Nigerian Army (NA) has urged residents of Essien Udim communities that fleed their homes due to crisis in the area in March, to return home, assuring them, of adequate security of lives and property.
This appeal was made by the Commander, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Inuwa, while declaring open free medical outreach for residents of the communities in Essien Udim local government council in Akwa Ibom state Monday.
Inuwa said the exercise which was conducted in two different locations of Ukana Uwa West and Ikot Afanga villages was in commemoration of Nigerian Army Day of Celebration (NADCEL) 2021.
He said the outreach became necessary due to crisis which has affected the area in recent times causing people to desert their homes. He expressed happiness for the people having confidence in the army and turn out for the outreach and assured them of adequate security around the communities.
“The essence of this exercise is to provide free medical outreach. We selected these areas because they have some security issues and some Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who are just coming to resettle.
“We felt it necessary that we should also come and do a medical outreach to further the assistance provided by the state government.
“The turn out is very encouraging, because apart from those people within the communities, those from IDP camps have left their camp to participate and benefit from the exercise”.
Speaking on behalf of the benefiting communities, former Chairman of Essien Udim local government council, Mr John Ekanem, commended the army for the free medical outreach.
Ekanem noted that the crisis situation in the area had created enough problems to so many families, adding that, so many dreams have been shattered.
“We do appreciate the Chief of Army Staff of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for coming out with large heart to help us in this time of our need.
“We appreciate the Commander for also coming to our aid. The communities had been displaced since March this year. The elderly and women you have seen here, were all displaced since that time”.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Patricia Inyang, a 60 year old widow, who spoke with our Correspondent, thanked the army for showing kindness to her and the community.
She explained that her health condition had deterrioted since the commencement of the crisis, but there was no money for her to get medical treatment.
Another beneficiary, Mr Anthony Okon, commended the army for the medical outreach and giving residents assurance to return home and start over again.
Okon said that the medical outreach came at a right time to the communities, stressing that the crisis had threatened the health of so many residents in the communities.