By Gabriel Elozino
In recognition of his role in promoting peace in his domain and Delta State, the Nigerian Army, 181 Amphibious Battalion, Agbor, Delta State has honoured the traditional ruler of Ughelli Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Wilson Oharisi III, the Ovie of Ughelli Kingdom with a peace award.
The award was part of activities to mark this year’s annual West African Social Activities (WASA) of the battalion held yesterday, at Owa Model Primary School, Ika North East Local Government Area of the state.
Speaking at the event, the Commanding Officer of the battalion, Lt. Col. S.A Yahaya, noted that the purpose of the exercise was to mark the end of the training session of soldiers.
According to him, it is an age-long tradition aimed at creating a conducive atmosphere for officers and soldiers, and their families at the end of a rigorous training year.
“The exercise is also used to herald the end of the year’s harvest and the beginning of a planting season. Also, it is our belief the exercise will usher bumper harvest and progress into the new year,” he stated.
Yahaya said that the origin of WASA could be traced to the Second World War when the Nigerian Army fought as part of the larger frontier force and had to carve out time to celebrate their cultural heritage at the end of every year.
While noting that it was an annual event, he stated that 181 Amphibious Battalion covers 13 local governments in Delta State.
“WASA has afforded us the great opportunity to celebrate our various cultural heritage and uphold our unity in diversity,” he added
Responding, the Ovie of Ughelli Kingdom, HRM Wilson Oharisi III, appreciated the army for the recognition and award given him, adding that it will spur him to continue to do more in promoting peace in his kingdom, the state, and the nation.
In his vote of thanks, the Chairman Organizing Committee, Major L.C Enejere thanked the commander 63 Brigade Brig. Gen. A Idris for finding time out of his tight schedule to attend the event and the Commander 181 battalion for his support and direction which has led to the successful hosting of the event.
He also appreciated the traditional rulers, HRM Dr. Wilson Oharisi lll, the Ovie of Ughelli kingdom, His Majesty Dr. Joseph Aghagba, regent Odio Ologbo of irri kingdom, and other invited dignitaries.
The well attended featured cultural display by groups, tug of war competition, presentation of awards to deserving soldiers and others.
The high point of the event was the lighting of burn fire to the admiration of attendees.