Akwa Ibom crisis: Army urges IDPs to return home, provides medical outreach

The 2 Brigade Nigerian Army (NA) has urged residents of Essien Udim communities in Akwa Ibom state that fled their homes due to crisis that bedeviled the area in March this year to return home.

The army assured them of adequate security of lives and property.

The Commander 2 Brigade Nigerian Army, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Inuwa, said this when he declared open free medical outreach for residents of the communities on Tuesday in Essien Udim.

Inuwa said the exercise which was conducted in two different locations of Ukana Uwa West and Ikot Afanga village halls was in commemoration of Nigerian Army Day of Celebration (NADCEL) 2021.

He said the outreach became necessary due to the crisis which had affected the area in recent times causing people to desert their homes.

The commander expressed happiness for people’s confidence in the army and their large turn out for the outreach.

“The essence of this exercise is to provide free medical outreach. We selected these areas because they have some security issues and some Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who are just coming to resettle.

“We felt it’s necessary that we should also come and do a medical outreach to further the assistance provided by the state government.

“The turnout is very encouraging because apart from those people within the communities, those from IDP camps have left their camp to participate and benefit from the exercise,” he said.

Speaking on behalf of the benefiting communities, former Chairman of Essien Udim local government area, Mr. John Ekanem, commended the army for the free medical outreach.

Ekanem said the crisis in the area had created enough problems for so many families, adding that so many dreams have been shattered.

“We do appreciate the Chief of Army Staff of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for coming out with a large heart to help us in this time of our need.

“We appreciate the Commander for also coming to our aid. The communities had been displaced since March this year. The elderly and women people you have seen here were all displaced since that time,” he said.

One of the beneficiaries who spoke with Blueprint, Mrs. Patricia Inyang, a 60-year-old widow, thanked the army for showing kindness to her and the community.

Inyang said her health has been very bad since the commencement of the crisis, but there was no money for her to get medical treatment.

Another beneficiary, Mr. Anthony Okon, commended the army for the medical outreach.