The Nigerian Army Headquarters Garrison on Saturday celebrated its 2019 edition of the West African Social Activities popularly known as WASA as part of annual activities of Nigerian army.
The event, which is held annually by various army formations and commands across the country took place at Mogadishu Cantonment Abuja.
The event featured a number of activities notably the cultural dance performances by the Tiv, Gbagyi, Igbo Atiligwu, Hausa-Fulani, Idoma, Yoruba among others.
It also featured a tug-of-war between the soldiers’ wives and female soldiers as well as the raffle draw where different prizes were won.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Lt.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, said that WASA was an age long tradition in the Nigerian army.
Buratai said that WASA provides opportunity for various army formations and units to socialise and celebrate their achievements during the year.
He added that the event also provided opportunity for officers and soldiers and their families to showcase the variety of cultural dances from across Nigeria.
He commended the various groups for their performances and announced that the tug-of-war game between the soldiers’ wives and female soldiers ended a draw.
According to him, the constitutional mandate assigned to Nigerian armed forces is to defend the territorial integrity of the country and preserved the collective national interest.
“It is in this regard that the Nigerian army has remained a professionally responsive army in the discharge of its constitutional duty.
“It is therefore heartwarming to observe that the Nigerian army has remained focused within this mandate and also committed to preserving our democracy.
“The strong statement to this effect has been our resolute commitment in tackling the security challenges confronting the country and recently during the 2019 general election acting in support of Nigerian police,” he said.
Buratai commended the garrison for their discipline and conducts exhibited during the various exercises they were engaged in throughout the year.
He urged the officers and soldiers of the garrison to redouble their efforts in view of the current security challenges that the army is grappling with across the country.
Earlier, the Commandant, Nigerian Army Headquarters Garrison, Maj.-Gen. James Myam, said that WASA serves as a veritable tool for reminding personnel on the successes recorded from the activities of the year being celebrated.
Myam added that WASA was also meant to encourage the personnel to approach the activities lined up for the new year with renewed zeal, vigour and commitment.
According to him, the Army Headquarters Garrison had a very successful year 2019 and so for us, this particular WASA is a celebration.
Myam assured the COAS that the garrison had received his ‘Strategic Directive to NA personnel for Year 2020′ which charged all personnel to ‘sustain professionalism and responsiveness in the discharge of their constitutional roles’.
He pledged that personnel of the command were poised towards approaching their duties with renewed vigour and commitment in the discharge of their duties.
Former Military Administrator of Lagos State, Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), commended the Nigerian army for keeping to the tradition of WASA celebration.
Marwa said that WASA remains a very important event in army barracks that usually bring different tribes together to celebrate.
He said that looking at the barrack kids reminded him of his days as a barrack boy.
He also urged the barracks children to strive in becoming whatever they wanted by remaining focused.
According to him, as retired officers we appreciate and recognise the sacrifice and commitment of the Nigerian armed force to the fight against insurgency in the north east.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the WASA event ended with the lighting of the camp fire night by the COAS. (NAN)