As part of efforts aimed at improving its relationship with the civil populace, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-Colonel Tukur Yusuf Buratai, supported by Honorable Commissioner For Health Cross River State, Dr Inyang Asibong and Director General of Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Betta Edu has commissioned a renovated Primary Health Facility in Ekpri Ikot Ene, Akpabuyo LGA of Cross River State executed by the Nigeria Army ” Operation Crocodile Smile III” under the 72 Hours PHC Make Over Challenge of the State Government.
According to Buratai who was represented by the Commander, 13 Brigade, Brigadier General C.O. C Ekundile one of the cardinal aims of executing such projects was to address the health indices and acute water scarcity in the area, create a cordial relationship between army and the civil populace and to also make the people understand the Nigerian Army better by supporting the medical need of the host community.
In His remarks, Cross River State Governor, Prof Ben Ayade who was represented by the Commissioner for Health, Dr Inyang Asibong said the effort by the Army has greatly reduced the burdens on the shoulders of the State Government. She commended the military in the fight against crimes in Akpabuyo axis and also called on them to do more in securing the lives of Nigerians saying, “We want to feel safe always. She noted that the government will add more staff to the facility from the 1000 health workers being currently employed. “ by this upgrade, this facility will join those selected for Ayade care immediately”
Also Speaking, DG Cross River Primary Healthcare Agency, Dr Betta Edu commended the Nigerian Army for their magnanimity in renovating and equipping the facility while tasking other paramilitary agencies to follow suit. She said the State Governor is committed to achieving universal healthcare coverage and ensuring that healthcare is taken to the hinterlands and door steps of the people.
Dr Edu call on the traditional rulers, religious leaders and the youth to take ownership of the facility by ensuring everyone in the community make use of the health center and protect it from vandalism.
Earlier speaking, Major F.M Ogbiyoyo who represented the Commander 13 Brigade called on the people of the area to pray for the Nigerian military to be able to finish the fight against crime and militancy as quickly as possible, while calling on them to make good use of the facility and its equipments.
He said the project would be of immense benefit to the people of Ekpri Ikot Ene as it would help foster a relationship between civilian and the military in that area.
The community was indeed all smiles as the Chiefs through their Village head, Elder Umor Etim Hogan thanked the Government of Cross River State and the army for it magnanimity!
Highlight of the event was commissioning and inspection of the edifice by the Chief of Army Staff supported by the Commissioner and DG Primary Healthcare.