By Jimitota Onoyume
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, told officers at the 2 Brigade of the Nigerian Army in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, that he once lived in the Officers Mess for two years.
The army boss said it to encourage his officers at the newly established brigade. He spoke while commissioning the temporal Mess for the officers in the brigade. He also commissioned the refurbished officers quarters and a gymnasium named after the late Lieutenant Col B. U. Umar who died in active service.
Not many expected that, within, two months a tastefully furnished ten units of two bedroom flats would be ready for officers when the brigade relocated only on December 12 last year from its former base in Port Harcourt to Uyo, Akwa.
Buratai tours the new officers quarters after commissioning it. In front is the Brigade Commander, 2 Brigade, Brigadier General Hassan Hamisu
The Commander of the brigade, Brigadier General Hassan Hamisu, attributed the achievement to the go-getting nature of Buratai. He said the army chief was determined to see the new brigade take-off smoothly, saying this was why, inspite of the economic recession in the country, he made provision for a befitting accommodation for officers and renovation work to resume in apartments occupied by soldiers at the Wellington Bassey Barracks in Abak local government area of the state.
Many described the speed at which the 2 Brigade is consolidating in Uyo as one of the wonders in the Nigerian Army in decades. Besides the tastefully furnished accommodation that has been set up with a 200 KVA generator for officers at what hitherto was called Security Village in Uruan local government area, a well equipped gym named after the late Umar is also in place for officers.
Hamisu said with assistance from Buratai, he had also acquired a gigantic administrative building on Udo Udoma Road, a residential apartment for the Commander on Ewet Housing Estate while commencing massive renovation work on apartments for soldiers at the 6 Batttalion in Abak.
“We have an office now at Udo Udoma temporarily where we operate from. We have accommodation for the Brigade Commander. We have ten flats of eight three bedrooms, one four bedrooms and one three bedrooms at the Security Village and two bedrooms. We have a gymnasium”, the Commander stated.
“We have also renovated two blocks of 12 rooms and parlour each for soldiers. We are also renovating two blocks of ten rooms which we hope will cushion the challenges of soldiers.
Three dilapidated blocks will also be renovated..”
He has also renovated two 18-seater buses that convey soldiers from the 6 battalion to the administrative building for duties.
Soldier also get one meal daily on the army’s account. The Brigade Commander said the meal initiative was to stabilize the soldiers before they finally settle down in the unit.