The 3 Division of the Nigerian Army, Rukuba, near Jos has distributed palliatives to 500 Widows, Widowers, Orphans and Persons With Disabilities in Gangare and Tudun Wada communities of Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State.
Presenting the items separately to the beneficiaries on Saturday, the General Officer Commanding of the Division, Major General Nuhu Angbazo, said the gesture was part of the 2020 Nigerian Army Day Celebration.
Represented by Brigadier General Idowu Akinlawon, the Chief of Staff of the Division, Angbazo added that the gesture was aimed at cushioning the hardships caused by the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Angbazo said the initiative was a directive by the Chief of Army of Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, as part of activities marking the NADCEL.
He also said the distribution of the palliatives formed a crucial part of the 2020 NADCEL, adding that the gesture was to promote civil-military relations.
He said: “The Nigerian Army is celebrating its 157 years of existence; it is a week set aside to appreciate and encourage the gallant men.
“As part of this year’s celebration, the Chief of Army Staff, a very caring and passionate personality, has directed that instead of making merry, we should extend love to the needy in the society.
“We know the hardships that people are currently passing through, especially with the advent of COVID-19.
“These items we are distributing today are not something big, but a token to reduce the sufferings of these categories of people.”
The GOC urged the beneficiaries put the items to good use and share with others in their respective communities.
Speaking at the event, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State lauded the army for the gesture, describing it as “timely”.
Represented by Irimiya Werr, Plateau State Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Lalong said the gesture goes to show that the Army was not only concerned with the security, but also welfare of the people as well.
He said: “The Nigerian Army no doubt has been giving us an exemplary style of leadership, and today we are witnessing yet one of such.
“What we are witnessing today goes to show that you are not just concerned about the safety of lives and property, but the welfare of the people as well.
“So, as a government, we want to thank the Nigerian Army for this wonderful gesture.”
The governor advised residents of the state to strictly adhere to the safety protocols against the virus put in place by the government.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 250 persons each from Gangare and Tudun Wada communities benefitted from the gesture.
NAN also reports that items distributed included rice, packets of sugar, seasoning milk, salt and cooking oil.