By Sunny A. Ijomah
The Women’s Corps of the Nigerian Army has cleaned up a section of the Afor Otuocha Market, and organized free medical outreach for the people of Aguleri, Anambra East Local Government Area.
The one-day exercise which held in the six geopolitical zones of the country at the same time, is a follow-up to the directive by the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, to soldiers to sustain enduring army-civilian relationship in Nigeria.
The large presence of soldiers in a sparsely populated town as Aguleri, would ordinarily elicit apprehension.
To quell any anxiety which might arise from the surge of the female soldiers, an announcement had earlier been made by the towncrier, informing the people of the visit by Nigerian Army Women’s Corps, and what the people of the town stood to gain.
After an hour-long sanitation exercise at the ever-busy Afor Otuocha Market, the female soldiers chanted the usual military drill songs as they danced their way back to where the free medical exercise was taking place.
The songs and dances were in a manner as to allay the impression of the locals about the force.
The leader of the team, Colonel D. M. Ojie, who is in charge of the exercise in South East and South South Nigeria, said the impression of the people about the army mattered so much as the institution seeks a realistic approach to building a mutual relationship with the Nigerian civilians.
She said the exercise would also encourage parents and their children, especially the girls, to join the Nigerian military, and pen their names in the history of national service.
One of the medical personnel who attended to the patients, Pharmacist Muhammad Yabani, from the Nigerian Military Cantonment, Onitsha, said the commonest ailments that were diagnosed included High Blood Pressure and malaria.
She noted that counseling was also delivered on heart-related diseases, cholesterol-based diets, personal hygiene and general guidelines for physical fitness.
Mrs. Anthonia Chukwuemeka, who had been given some drugs for her two-and-half year old baby that was diagnosed with malaria, said she felt apprehensive when she initially heard of the soldiers’ visit, but has gained so much from the friendly exercise .