The 15 Field Engineer Regiment of the Nigerian Army, Topo, Badagry, Lagos State has celebrated the West African Social Activities to mark the end of 2019 operational year.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event showcased different cultural activities of different tribes in Nigeria.
Friends and host communities were treated to traditional Egun, Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo dance steps with colourful costumes and props.
NAN reports that the wives of the soldiers also entertained guests with tug of war contests.
The Commanding Officer of the Army unit, Lieutenant Colonel Eromosele Lawani, said the occasion was to celebrate the end of the 2019 operations with soldiers families, host communities and friends.
Lawani said: “People see Army as antisocial and rigid set of people, but soldiers have families, they have emotions and this is a way of showing Nigerians that we can also have fun too.
“WASA is a long time old tradition passed down from the British, exhibiting our cultures.
“The social activities are to showcase the culture of soldiers and relate with host communities.
“This is used to bring the families of soldiers together and also interact with civil society and host communities.
“We have all our traditional chiefs here and some friends from different communities in Badagry coming into the barracks to celebrate with us.”
The commanding officer described the relationship between soldiers and host communities as very cordial.
Lawani added: “Many residents of Badagry know that Topo Barracks is community friendly, our gate is open for them, they come regularly to our hospital to receive medical care.
“Our creche and day care are also for them.
“We don’t limit it to soldiers alone.
“Even, our football field is for all and sundry.
“The field is like a community football field.
“Some clubs even play their matches here in Topo.
“We have never turned anybody back from our barracks.”
Hazana Zira, the Mother of the Barracks, urged the women in host communities to come around and celebrate with them.
According to her: “We always go and celebrate with them in the community so they should also come around to celebrate with us too.”
Zira commended the Nigerian Army for organising the social activities for soldiers’ families, adding that this usually promotes the heritage of Nigeria’s culture.
NAN reports that the WASA was established by the British West African Frontier Forces to celebrate end of the year operations by the local Army.
The event, which brings soldiers families together and enhances interaction with civil society and host communities, was changed to the Nigerian Army Social Activities in 2011.