Exercise Atilogwu Udo 1: Army cleans up major market in Enugu

Tukur Buratai

Troops of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army in Enugu State on Wednesday embarked on a cleanup of age-long refuse dumps that occupied some spots in Ogbete Main Market, Enugu.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the sanitation led by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Division, Brig.-Gen. Lasisi Adegboye, also took care of refuse and refuse dumps in Old Park and Holy Ghost Cathedral axis of the market.

NAN reports that the GOC, who was present at the market however, declined comments on the exercise.

But the Deputy Director, Public Relations of the division, Col. Aliyu Yusuf, who spoke to newsmen at the end of the sanitation, thanked traders and residents of the area for their cooperation that made it successful.

Yusuf said that the sanitation was part of the “Exercise Atilogwu Udo 1’’ (meaning Peace Dance 1), which would be officially flagged off on Friday, Nov. 1.

“The exercise is part of the civil-military-cooperation activities designed by the division in support of its host community.

“It is also part of preparation for the commencement of “Exercise Atilogwu Udo 1’’ in South-East zone in general,’’ he said.

Reacting, Chief John Eze, Chairman of Ogbete Main Market Traders’ Association (OMMATA), thanked the Nigerian Army for the gesture and other services they had been providing in terms of security.

Eze, represented by the Public Relations Officer of the market, Mr Emmanuel Eke, said; “We are amazed to wake up this morning and see thousands of army personnel cleaning every corner of the market.

“They even cleaned up age-long refuse dump and ensured that they are kept away from drainage so that refuse spill will not return to the drains.’’

Mr Obinna Onyeachulam, a driver with a motor-park in Holy Ghost, lauded the Nigerian Army for the gesture that had allowed fresh air in the area.

“As it is now, the cleanup has made everywhere neat and dislodged rodents breeding in the area for some time now,’’ Onyeachulam said.

A trader, Mr Francis Ugwoke, appreciated the army for the clean-up especially clearing the dumpsite close to his stall.

“Before now, the heap of refuse here and its odour chase away customers, but today, you can even eat comfortably here. I believe more customers will now patronise my shop,’’ he said.

NAN recalls that the Nigerian Army, on Oct. 16, announced the renaming of one of its annual training exercises in the South-East code-named, “Exercise Egwu Eke (Python Dance)” to “Exercise Atilogwu Udo’’.

Before the change of name, Exercise Egwu Eke, was conducted for three years in the zone.