The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, has paid glowing tribute to Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, OFR, for his outstanding leadership that has led to the improvement of security in the State.
General Lagbaja, who was in Abia on Wednesday in continuation of his nationwide tour of formations and units of the Nigeria Army, thanked Governor Otti for the support he continues to extend to the Army, saying such would spur the security agency into working with the state government to provide a secured environment for peaceful living and conduct of business in the state.
“I want to seize this opportunity, Your Excellency, to appreciate you for your support and that of the good people of Abia State to our troupes and even their families that are domiciled here in Abia State.
“I have been briefed on the several interventions of Abia State Government to 14 Brigade. They are very good, and even the infrastructure in our barrack. I want to sincerely appreciate you, Your Excellency, for your immeasurable support to our formation.
“I also want to appreciate you for your personal leadership that has led to tremendous improvement in the security situation in Abia State since your assumption of office. I’m saying this based on the hindsight of my knowledge of the State and the challenges as the General Officer Commanding 82 Division.
“I also want to pledge the readiness, the willingness and the availability of the formations and units of our 14 Brigade, and even other Nigerian Army assets deployed around this area, to support the Government of Abia State to ensure that we continue to improve on the state of security and assist the State Government to provide that enabling environment for economic activities and development to thrive,” the Army Chief stated when he visited the Governor in his country home in Nvosi, Isialangwa South Local Government Area.
General Lagbaja, while extolling Governor Otti, declared that the Nigeria Army had enjoyed “a warm and cordial relationship” with the government and people of Abia State and solicited the Governor to impress on the citizens to continue to support the Army “so that together we can continue to deliver on our constitutional responsibility and support the government”.
Governor Otti, in turn, thanked General Lagbaja for his visit, saying the army Chief’s coming had further strengthened the government’s resolve to partner with the army and work together to secure not just Abia but the whole of the Southeast.
He also thanked the Nigeria Army for the support the government had received in the fight against insecurity in the state, citing the success of Operation Crush, the state’s special multi-agency security task force, led by the army.
“So, let me use this opportunity to publicly thank you for the support that you have given us because if you didn’t give the support, the success that people are talking about today wouldn’t have happened. So we are very, very grateful.
“We have worked together with the military as partners and brothers. Your men don’t sleep. Any time there is anything and we call them, they respond immediately. So, please extend our gratitude to them,” Governor Otti said.
He declared that the Government of Abia State is happy with the relationship it has had with the army “and that is why any time they have any need – infrastructural, vehicle – to the best of our ability, we try to meet them”. This, according to the Governor, is notwithstanding the general economic downturn in the country.
Governor Otti acknowledged the critical role of security in the overall development of Abia, saying, “if you do not have security, you can’t talk about investment and you can’t even sleep with your two eyes closed”.
However, he said that not much would have been accomplished if peace reigned in Abia, while the spate of insecurity continued in the other parts of the Southeast states. He subsequently made a case for a meeting of the Southeast governors with the army chief to address the lingering issues of insecurity in the Southeast.
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor
January 11, 2024.