Residents of Minna, the Niger state capital, have called on the state government to consider the return of the monthly environmental sanitation exercise in the state.
Most residents spoken to said the cleanup of parts of Minna town last Saturday by the Nigerian Army, revived the memory of the monthly sanitation hitherto introduced by the federal government and enforced in all states of the federation.
The Nigerian Army had carried out the cleanup exercise in its ongoing bid to foster military/civilian relationship in the state.
Residents said the reintroduction of monthly sanitation would engender sustainable cleaner environment especially in the face of mounting challenges across city centres.
“The men and officers of the Nigerian Army have shown that our cities could be returned to their cleanliness through sustained efforts again,” Clement Chijoke an electronics dealer in Mobile area of Minna town, said.
He said the once beautiful city has become an eyesore due to unhealthy habits of residents who dump refuse indiscriminately.
According to him the situation is compounded by the blockage of waterways preventing easy flow of rain water during the wet season thereby resulting in flooding.
“We need to change our ways by maintaining cleaner environment and by fighting pollution and consequent diseases through the introduction of the monthly sanitation and implementation of same,” he observed.
Also, Malam Abdullahi Usman said although the state government has been up and doing in keeping streets within the state capital clean there has to be a deliberate policy to compel residents to keep their immediate environment and business areas clean.
“It’s saddening that most Nigerians would ignore the threat unhealthy environment pose to our health. Government alone cannot do everything; as individual, it is fool hardy to expect someone to keep your environment clean for you,” he noted.
He said the gesture by the Army was a reminder of how a valuable programme and policy could be sustained for the betterment of all.
The sanitation exercise, which was facilitated by the 31 Artillery Brigade of the Nigerian Army, took place at the popular Mobile Roundabout which includes the city center, opposite ECWA Church and the old Minna market premises.
According to the 31 Artillery Brigade commander, Brigadier General Gideon Temitope , the environmental sanitation exercise, apart from making the environment healthy and cleaner, is also aimed at ensuring and sustaining the cordial civil /military relationship in environments the military operates.