Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State has saluted the effort of the Nigerian Army in counter-insurgency operations in the Northeast as well as in promoting unity, peace, and cultural integration through its social activities.

Governor Inuwa Yahaya who gave the commendation at the closing of the West African Social Activities, WASA, organized by the 301 Artillery Brigade, Gombe, noted that the annual event presents a veritable platform for showcasing and celebrating Nigeria's unity in diversity as well as encouraging "Espirit de Corps" among personnel of the Nigerian Army.

He expressed satisfaction with the leadership of the 301 Artillery Brigade for organizing the event despite the enormous responsibility of providing security in Gombe state and the country at large.

While appreciating the Brigade's contribution as well as the support of other security agencies in reducing criminal activities, promoting peace and security, Governor Yahaya also praised the Nigerian Army for organizing the WASA event, which he noted will promote military/civilian relationship.

He observed that the impressive turn out of various groups, who in their respective performances showcased their rich cultural heritage is a clear testimony that the objective of the event was achieved.

The Governor pledged his administration's resolve towards making the 301 Artillery Brigade Barracks along Kumo road habitable for soldiers and their families to proudly call home.

He said his Government will support the upgrade of the facility to standard.

Governor Yahaya said, "By what I have seen today, it is very clear that these structures built some years back require an upgrade. I am therefore assuring the GOC that we shall support the upgrade of the facility for conducive operation".

The General Officer Commanding, 3 Division, Major-General Nuhu Angbazo said the West African Social Activities, WASA, now Nigerian Army Social Activities is a tradition that dates back to the era of the West Africa Frontier Force.

The GOC said during this period, allied commanders organize events for soldiers and their families to socialize and celebrate the high and low lights of military formations and units, away from their routine regimented life to atmosphere where they unwind and relax freely with one another.

He said the annual event has since been upheld and has become an avenue of harnessing Nigeria's rich cultural heritage while creating an atmosphere for cordial military-civilian relationships.

Angbazo says the Nigerian army is committed to partnering with other security agencies to ensure the Gombe state maintains its status of the most peaceful state in the Northeast sub-region.

Earlier, the Commander, 301 Artillery Brigade, Colonel Friday Onu thanked Governor Inuwa Yahaya for the tremendous support his administration renders to the regiment in particular and the Nigerian Army operating in general.

The event which took place at the permanent site of the 301 Artillery Brigade along Kumo road, witnessed cultural performances and displays by various groups, including local hunters, charmers, traditional ethnic dance groups representing different communities and states of the federation.

Other attractions at the event were two Tug of War competitions between the Federal Road Safety Corps and National Youths Service Corps as well as between the Nigerian Army and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps with Governor Inuwa Yahaya playing the role of umpire.

Highlights of the event include the lighting of the campfire by the Governor and the presentation of awards of honor to deserving recipients.

Ismaila Uba Misilli
Senior Special Assistant
( Media and Publicity)