In Lagos Naval officers, others, defy early morning rain for route march

The route march, which commenced around 5.00 a.m from the NAVTRAC headquarters, Apapa, progressed through Ijora, Costain to Ojuelegba and back.

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Nigerian Navy

(NAN)
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No fewer than one thousand military and para-military officers and other security agencies, on Saturday defied the early morning rain to observe the quarterly energy-sapping route march.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigerian Army, Air Force, Police, Department of State Services, Nigerian Prisons Service, Federal Road Safety Corps and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, took part in the exercise.

The route march, which commenced around 5.00 a.m from the NAVTRAC headquarters, Apapa, progressed through Ijora, Costain to Ojuelegba and back.

Rear Adm. Obi Ofodili, the Flag Officer Commanding, Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC), led other senior officers on the route march in Lagos.

Ofodili, briefing newsmen after the exercise, said that the initiative was from the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Ibok-Ette Ibas.

According to him, the exercise is primarily organised to test the physical fitness and mental alertness of personnel.

“The march was to reassure the populace that we the security forces are in charge.

“When you see military men march on the street, one of the objectives, whether defined or not, is to reassure the public that we are in charge.

“In fact, they are much safer than ever. It is a way of reassuring the public that all is well and every situation is under control,” he said.

Ofodili said that the route march was a continuous thing done once in a while.

“I have no doubt that it will really strengthen the existing relationship between members of the armed forces and other security operatives.

“We want to build and sustain good relationship with paramilitary agencies. For the armed forces, we have good relationship, because we all train at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA),” he said.

Ofodili said that exercises like this, was also aimed at making other colleagues in uniform to know that “we all are one’’.

“From the turnout and participation, it is quite clear that we are all fit and healthy.

“I must commend the Chief of Naval Staff, who directed that the commands and autonomous units of the navy, to come up with a march involving other security agencies to foster understanding, friendship and oneness.

“As a matter of fact, we are created equal because we are the same. We can see from here that there is no one having two heads,” he said.

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Ofodili stressed the need for division of labour, adding that the job assigned for everyone would be a lot easier.

“The armed forces are supposed to defend our territorial integrity from any external attack from the sea, land and air.

“The paramilitary agencies are supposed to maintain internal security and when you are overwhelmed, you will invite us.

“If you are not there to soften the ground for us, we will find it more difficult when we come in.

“So, wherever we find ourselves, please let us show respect to one another,” he said.

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