Residents and businessmen at Ipodo and Olowu areas in Ikeja on Saturday morning woke up to see the presence of hundreds of military men cleaning up the environment and clearing their drainages.
Majority of the soldiers were dressed in branded white vests and military camouflage trousers with the inscription NADCEL/COSAT 2019 while a few others wore complete military camouflage.
They were all kitted with rain boots, hand gloves, mouth/nose guard and working with shovels, rakes, brooms with wheelbarrows carting away the refuse to standby compactors.
The soldiers who came from the 9th Brigade, Nigeria Army Cantonment, Ikeja were led by the Commander of the Brigade, Brigadier-General Nasir Jega who represented the General Officer Commanding 81Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Sanni Yusuf.
Speaking with the press, Jega said the sanitation exercise is part of the activities to mark the 2019 Nigerian Army Day Celebration which is an annual event, the exercise he said was also going on in two other locations in Lagos namely, Ikoyi and Ojo.
“It is part of the task from the Army Chief of Staff that on this day we should go round and carry out this exercise so as to promote civil-military relations with civilians and communities around us.
On why Ipodo/ Olowu was picked for the exercise, the commander said it is because the area is close to the Cantonment, “Ipodo is a little bit closer to the cantonment and we chose it in order to relate with the community that is closer to us so that we have very good civil/military relations with them”, he said.
Jega imployed everybody to continue with the sanitation exercise so as to keep the surroundings clean, “they should be coming out to have their surroundings clean, having a good and clean environment will foster good health for everybody”, he said.
A businessman who owns a shop in the area, Mr. Ogbonna Onwuzuruike from Imo who said he feels good and happy about the cleaning stated that as he came to open his shop he met the military doing environment sanitation.
“I am happy to see them come out enmasse to do the cleanup exercise, I feel so good and happy about it, it is not their duty, this is to show us good example that we businessmen should clean our environment and make Lagos clean.
“It is good for us to continue with the trend, it is good for we businessmen to keep our environment clean,” he said.
Onwuzuruike also said he would want the state government to reintroduce the monthly environmental sanitation exercise so as to keep Lagos clean.