By Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike
I am delighted to be here today on this historic occasion of the operationalisation of 6 Division, Nigerian Army, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
We heartily welcome the upgrading and operationalization of the existing army unit from a Brigade to a Division. Clearly, a new era is unfolding in the tortuous history of the Nigerian Army in Rivers State and in the lives of our people.
In a nation such as ours, which corporate existence, is increasingly buffeted by internal and external threats; the need to strengthen and ensure the operational capability and preparedness of our armed forces cannot be over-emphasized.
Also, as a State and as a people the provision of security, socio-economic progress and balanced development are some of the most fundamental challenges we have been struggling to overcome in the last fifty years of our existence in order to make life meaningful for our people.
We are therefore happy and grateful to the Federal Government for approving and funding the Port Harcourt operational base of the Nigerian Army to a full Division with corresponding levels of armaments.
The enhanced and expanded presence of the army in Port Harcourt clearly underscores the regional importance of the city to the strategic economic interest of the Nation in the face of the constantly changing security matrix across the country.
As a responsible government therefore, we truly appreciate the contributions of the Nigeria Army to the collective task of nation building through its primary and other ancillary services.
Here in Rivers State, we have for decades enjoyed the professional capability and patriotic commitment of the Nigerian Army towards our developmental aspirations in several ways.
In particular, we appreciate the support you have given and continue to give to advance our efforts toward routing the criminal elements that are terrorizing our people and breaching the peace in our otherwise peaceful communities.
Hon. Minister, since the security challenge is a constant and growing in complexity, I wish to assure you that the Rivers State Government will continue to partner with the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies to consolidate the gains we have achieved in making Rivers State to become one of the safest States in the country.
Accordingly, we are more than willing to provide necessary support to ensure that the Division settles down to business quickly. Already, we have acquired and allocated a parcel of land in Omuma Local Government Area to the Nigerian Army.
We have also procured and donated some hilux vehicles and buses to support the operationalization of the new Division in the State.
Furthermore, we are also disposed to partnering the Nigerian Army to build a Command Secondary School in the State for the children of service men and women as well as interested members of the public.
At this point, it is pertinent to remind you that Rivers people are largely peaceful and hospitable. Please, all of you, officers and soldiers, should consider Port Harcourt and indeed the entire Rivers State as your home and live peacefully with and among our people.
As an indispensable institutional partner, we are ready to support and work with the Nigerian Army to build the new Division and improve the security architecture in the State for the benefit of everyone.
We will cooperate with the Nigerian Army for as long as it operates as a national and neutral army devoid of partisan intrigues when carrying out its constitutional responsibilities or when deployed to election duties, and providing the security umbrella for every one without discrimination.
On this note, may I on behalf of the People of Rivers State, congratulate the General Officer Commanding and formally welcome him, his officers and soldiers to Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
▪GOODWILL MESSAGE BY HIS EXCELLENCY NYESOM EZENWO WIKE, CON, GSSRS, GOVERNOR OF RIVERS STATE ON THE OCCASION OF THE OPERATIONALISATION CEREMONY OF 6 DIVISION, NIGERIAN ARMY IN PORT HARCOURT ON 13TH JULY 2017