LEADERS of Oil and Solid Mineral Producing Area Landlords’ Association of Nigeria (OMPALAN) on Thursday conferred on the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, the award of the ‘Protector of the Environment’ (POE).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the award was presented to Buratai, who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Lt.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, by the President and Chairman, Board of Trustees of OMPALAN, Bishop Udo Azogu, in Abuja.
In his speech, Azogu said the coveted honour of POE was a special reward in recognition of the rare and sustained sacrifice by the Nigerian army to sustain the nation’s hard-earned democracy.
He said that the award was in recognition of the inspirational leadership of COAS in defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria as well as securing the lives of all citizens and foreigners.
According to him, the mission and vision of OMPALAN is for a peaceful, united, progressive and prosperous country compelled by the rule of law.
“It is in this vein that we share a common ground with the Nigerian army in its uncompromising defence of the unity and sovereignty of Nigeria,” he said.
Azogu, however, called for deepened partnership between the association and the army in order to provide an enabling environment for Nigerians and investors to operate.
He said that the visit underscored the growing desire of mineral producing communities across Nigeria to build effective synergy with the army in order to add more impetus to your formation’s constitutional responsibility.
According to him, we are also here today to convey the unfeigned appreciation of mineral producing communities especially the war-torn areas of the North East region to the army hierarchy in securing life and property of law-abiding citizens.
“We are here to extend our hand of friendship to the army aimed at building the desired momentum to fill undesirable gaps in military campaigns and intelligence gathering underpinning national integration and stability within Nigeria’s territorial boundaries.
“The benefits of strategic partnerships in military operations have far reaching impacts on the overall outcome of such expeditions and will go a long way in reducing avoidable casualties from ambush by retrogressive forces.
“It will also help to reduce stress on the army in the strenuous Operation of tracking enemy locations.
“It is our humble desire that the army hierarchy integrates OMPALAN in military campaigns across local communities,” he said.
Reacting, Buratai assured the leadership of OMPALAN of the army’s commitment to forging partnership with them to ensure safe and secure environment in the country.
While appreciating the association for conferring on him the POE of the Environment, he said that the environment needed to be adequately protected.
According to him, there is the craving for the protection of the environment because, solid mineral exploitation has caused a lot of environmental issues as well as insecurity.
“In all the areas where the solid minerals are being exploited, we have a lot of security challenges and the Nigerian army in collaboration with other sister agencies and services is committed to do its best.
“Our business is to provide a secured environment for the politicians to operate.
“The Nigerian army is opened to constructive criticisms in areas that we need to do more.
”We are highly encouraged by your identification with the Nigerian army and we are opened to partnership with you,” he said. (NAN)
– Oct 17, 2019 @ 16:49 GMT |