The Nigerian military on Thursday disclosed that it would partner the governments of Nasarawa, Benue and Taraba states as well as other security agencies to curb the rising tide of kidnapping and other criminality in the states.
The Chief of Defense Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin stated this during the commissioning of five hand-pump boreholes in five communities of Nasarawa State sited by the Department of Civil-Military Cooperation under his office.
He noted that it would take the fight to the den of the kidnappers terrorizing the unsuspecting residents and travelers across the three states.
Two of the boreholes were sited at Agyaragu and Gidinye communities in Obi Local Government Area, while one was sunk at Agudu in Lafia local government area and others located in Kadarko and Giza communities in Keana LGA of the state.
Speaking during the commissioning, the CDS, General Gabriel Olonisakin stated that the Nigerian Military is mandated under the law to assist civilians with amenities whenever they are needed.
He maintained that projects were sited at the various points to address the water needs of the benefiting communities in addition to the security been provided in the areas.
The CDS who was represented by Rear Admiral Obed Ngalabak further explained that the CDS is mindful of the people of the benefitting communities hence the provisions of these water boreholes and called on the people to guard, protect and take care of those facilities so as to attract more of similar social amenities in their areas.
“As part of our civil military operations we built dispensaries, worship centers and renovated schools across the country and we have the mandate by law to aid civilians with amenities whenever they are needed”, Ngalabak.
Also speaking, the state governor, Abdullahi Sule who was represented by his deputy, Dr Emmanuel Akaabe said the Sule administration was determined to provide security of lives and property of the citizens of the state.
He noted that the OPWS had done exceedingly well and so much for the people of Nasarawa state having succeeded in raiding armed bandits from the state, where people now sleep with two eyes closed without fear of attack or molestation by armed herdsmen
He explained that the provision of basic social amenities such as water boreholes which is intended to make life more meaningful to citizens cannot be undermined by the people, saying that his administration would continue to support military operations so as to achieve lasting peace.
“Before now this part of the country was the hotspots in terms of insecurity but now we can sleep with two eyes closed. The military have been so friendly. In fact, what we have now is digitalized military” he said.
In their separate remarks, chairmen of Obi local government area, Mohammed Yimoga and the traditional ruler of Agyaragu, chief Ayuba Agwadu Audu, all applauded the military in making their presence felt in their communities.
They noted that the sinking of the boreholes would have direct bearing on the lives of the people and now address perennial water scarcity they have been experiencing over the years.
They equally acknowledged that the presence of OPWS had gone a long way in the safety of the people and urged the military to tackle the pocket of kidnapping activities being experienced in the various communities having tackled the issue of armed herdsmen in the state.
Also speaking, the force commander of OPWS Major General Adeyemi Yekini stated that an extensive analysis was carried out by OPWS and discovered that the communities needed water.
He further explained that the essence of initiating the projects was to solidify the civilians’ relationship with the military and incorporate the people in order to get information to curb criminalities in the state.
Gen Yekini however warned people of the state to desist from harbouring criminal elements in their homes and cooperate with troops of OPWS by volunteering information on time so as to be able to raid bandits from their communities.
He said that his troops is adequately ready to decimate all criminal elements and warned kidnappers and other criminal elements operating in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba States to come out and surrender or have themselves destroyed.
Culled from the Nation Newspaper