THE Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Onyeabo Azubike Ihejirika, yesterday in Jaji, Kaduna State, asked Nigerians to discountenance the speculation of a possible break-up of Nigeria, saying that the Army would continue to fight to keep the nation together.
Also, following the return of peace, law and order in Kaduna State, the government yesterday reviewed the curfew in the metropolis and some other adjourning local council areas, while security has been beefed up in strategic locations against the activities of hoodlums.
Ihejirika said at the reunion of Army Infantry Corps held as part of activities marking the 2012 Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADACEL) that a speculation about the break-up of Nigeria was “loose talk.”
According to Ihejirika, “the Nigerian Army has been at the forefront of all efforts to keep the country together since independence. So, when people talk about break-up, have they forgotten so soon that they have an Army that paid dearly to keep the country together? The Army is still ready to pay the supreme sacrifice to continue to keep this country as one united entity. So, we should forget about any talk of Nigeria breaking up. The Army will not agree to that. And I see it as a loose talk from those people who don’t have the interest of this country at heart.”
He said that in response to contemporary and future challenges, the Army would establish additional specialised units in line with its ORBAT (Order of Battle) 2010.
In a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Reuben Buhari, the government said that “in view of the improved peaceful co-existence witnessed in Kaduna State, the security council of the state has further relaxed the curfew hours.”
According to him, “the hours of free movement for Kaduna-South, Kaduna-North, Chikun and Igabi local councils is 6.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m.”, adding that “for the 19 remaining local council areas in the state it is 6.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.”
Buhari said “Government commends the entire good people of Kaduna State over the return of normalcy and urges all to continue to be law-abiding.”
Before the relaxation of the curfew at about 2.00 p.m. yesterday, many workers and traders were seen hurrying to their homes in an attempt to beat the vehicular traffic on busy roads. Many shops, offices were closed, while banks workers had also stopped attending to customers at 1 p.m.