Governor Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State has advocated for a more collaborative approach and synergy of all segments of the population in combating the current security challenges bedevilling the country.
The governor made the call on Tuesday when he granted audience to the Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar who paid him a courtesy visit at the government house, Gombe.
He noted that the nation is overwhelmed by cases of kidnappings, banditry, cattle rustling and a crisis of different proportions, saying if Nigeria is not proactive in addressing such issues, especially in the face of a growing youthful population, the country may not be able to handle the repercussions.
Mr Yahaya, however, appreciated the efforts of the Nigerian armed forces in tackling criminal activities in the Northeast and the country in general.
“So far, we feel we are well represented and in fact well secured under your leadership as COAS,” he said.
He said the setting up of the combat reconnaissance group in Gombe State will help in strengthening peace and security and safety of lives and property of the citizenry while commending the pace of work at the airforce base site.
“What we are seeing on ground is quite contrary to what we use to see before, whereby whenever a project is proposed in a place it takes years to take off, but for us here the very day the Nigerian Airforce came requesting for land we obliged and provided the land and what happened the following week they took immediate possession of the land and started developing the site, this is quite commendable.”
The governor also lauded the Nigerian Air Force for embarking on community relations and corporate social responsibility through its medical outreach, which he noted, justifies the symbiotic relationship existing between the host community and the NAF.
He assured the Chief of Air Staff that the State will continue to encourage and motivate the people to support the activities of Nigerian Airforce in the State.
“We are all aware of the current security situation in the Northeast and the entire country, so your coming here will help to fortify our state as well as our people, their lives and means of livelihood so that they can produce more and Nigerian economy will grow and eventually the security of lives and property will be guaranteed.”
He said the geographical position of Gombe State in the Northeast places it at a strategic position for smooth operation by men of the reconnaissance group, assuring the government’s readiness to partner with the Nigerian Airforce so that the mission of NAF in the State can be achieved and sustained.
Mr Yahaya said the success of the Air Force is equally the success of Gombe State and Nigeria.
He also gave assurance of his administration’s unflinching support as well as the cooperation and understanding of the people of the State towards the full operation and continuous stay of the group in Gombe.
Speaking earlier, the Chief of Air Staff said he was in Gombe on a working visit to the 203 combat reconnaissance group and to equally express the NAF’s appreciation to the governor for not only approving a vast land, but also paying compensation to individuals whose lands were affected by the creation of the Airforce base.
He described the combat reconnaissance group as a strategic unit not only in the fight against insurgency but also against banditry and other criminal activities in the Northeast, Northwest and the country in general.
Mr Abubakar said NAF is also deploying a special unit to serve as a protective shield to its assets in Gombe.
The governor later accompanied his guest to the construction site of the 203 combat reconnaissance group to assess the progress of work.