… As He Commissions 36 Flats In 13 Brigade
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai, on Saturday, while commissioning 36 flats built to accomodate 120 soldiers in the 13 brigade, Calabar, recalled how he once lived in a batcher even as a military officer.
Batcher is a ‘makeshift’ accomodation commonly found in some military barracks across Nigeria.
Buratai had in November 2016, in the 13 brigade, Calabar, officially performed the ground breaking and foundation laying ceremony of the same project.
Flanked by governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, the COAS said the project, which was jointly undertaken with the 13 brigade, was an expression of the Nigerian army’s commitment to the accomodation need and welfare of her personnel.
He decried the living condition of the military personnel in the past, promising that no stone will be left unturned to ensure their overall wellbeing in the present administration.
While delivering his address, in an emotion laden voice, the general told his guests at the occasion that he had also lived in a batcher, but noted that it wasn’t a pleasant experience.
“I have come to formally commission these blocks of flats meant to accomodate our soldiers and their families, who had hitherto been living in a makeshift accomodation, popularly called batchers.
“It will interest you to note that I had experienced living in such accomodation in a batcher.
“You will be surprised that even as an officer, between 1988, 89 and up to 1990, I lived in a batcher as a lieutenant; that was in Lagos. It was not a pleasant experience definitely”, he said.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the brigade commander, Brig Gen. Bulama Biu, disclosed that the project was a direct labour concept, supported by the office of the Chief of army staff.
He thanked the COAS for fulfilling his earlier promise to support the project, saying the new accomodation will go a long way to boost the morale of his troops.
The commander explained that, prior to the COAS’s intervention, the troops were living in a makeshift accomodation, otherwise called batcher.
He expressed gratitude to individuals and corporate organizations including CCE&C, Zenith construction company among others, for their respective support.