Port Harcourt - The Nigerian Army has witnessed steady transformation in the 16 years of democratic rule, Koko Essien, the Brigade Commander of 2 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, says.
Essien said this in Port Harcourt on Sunday at an inter-denominational church service to mark 152 years of the Nigerian Army formation.
"The Army is now better equipped to confront changes in the nature of security threats," he said.
The Brigade Commander also said a myriad of transformations have been recorded in the area of personnel training and re-training, as well as personnel welfare and armaments.
Essien also said various successes had been recorded in the fight against insurgency in the North East, in spite of recent security challenges in the country.
"The Army has positive reasons to celebrate today, because of the successes it has recorded in recent times.
"Nigerians will recall that at the beginning of the year, there were several local government areas in the North East which were under the control of the Boko Haram terrorists.
"But today with the efforts of the Army, supported by other security services, there is no single local government area that was being held by Boko Haram insurgents,” he said.
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Essien said another reason the Army needed to celebrate was the earlier prediction that the nation would disintegrate in 2015.
He said the prediction not only caused panic, but had created fears in the psyche of Nigerians.
"The thinking of the doomsayers was premised on the 2015 general elections which were expected to be violent, thus putting the Nigerian Army in a state of civil war.
"So, there is every reason to celebrate as the elections have now come and gone peacefully, as well as successfully," Essien said.
Earlier, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers had urged Nigerians to be grateful, as the Army together with other security agencies had made the nation proud through past and present security operations.
"But renewed security strategies had led to various successes as the Boko Haram members are now on the run from the North-East.
"Security agencies, in collaboration with government, are currently trailing criminals and their hideouts in the state," he said.
The Governor who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Kenneth Kobani, debunked insinuations that crime was on the increase in the state.
"I assure indigenes, residents and all those doing legitimate businesses in the state that it is safe and secure for investments," he said.