By Henry Oladele
Lagos – The Nigerian Army School of Medical Sciences on Saturday in Lagos held its maiden marathon for children in the barracks, aimed at addressing misconceptions about such children.
Brig. -Gen. Solomon David, the school’s commandant, said that the initiative was in conjunction with MummyMay, a Non Governmental Organisation, to let people know that something good could come out of the barracks.
“We hear of barracks children are bad, but we also want to show that the best things can come out of the barracks.
“It may interest all of us to know that I am also a barracks child and it is an example to let you know that something good could come out of the barracks.
“The Chief of Army staff (COAS), Lt. -Gen. Tukur Buratai, we all know, has a vision for us all, which is to be professionally responsive, militarily and medically.
He said the COAS had also told them that the army did not need unfit soldiers, and this led to the idea of keeping fit.
“These are our children; they see us every day, which might motivate them to join the army.
“So, let them know that from today, one has to keep fit to be in the army,” he said.
The commandant also urged the public to assist in the best way they could, in catering for the families of the soldiers who lay down their lives for the country.
He said that as a baby of the Federal Government, a soldier could be moved anywhere and could even die in the process of defending the nation.
David urged civilians to, therefore, key into any opportunity through which they could assist families of military personnel.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that over 100 children from age 12-17 participated in the marathon race.
Of the lot, three boys – Patrick Miapkop, Philip Kanang and Ibrahim Sheri, all 17 years of age, emerged the first, second and third respectively in the male category.
In the girls’ category, the first three positions went to Abigail Edache, 14, Praise Umoh, 12 and Chidinma Ikechukwu, 13.