Gombe State Governor, Inuwa Yahaya, has charged the Nigerian Army and other security agencies in the country to remain resolute, focused and determined in dealing with emerging security challenges confronting the nation.
The governor gave the charge while speaking as Special Guest of Honour at the 3 Division Operations Planning Cadre of the 301 Artillery Regiment, General Support held at the Gombe International Hotel on Tuesday.
The Operations Planning Cadre, according to officials, is designed to equip junior and middle cadre of the Nigerian Army with the requisite knowledge on techniques and procedures in the planning and conduct of military operations.
The governor described the fundamentals of the operations planning cadre taking place in the State as apt, especially coming at a time when his administration is equally living no stone unturned to ensure the peace and tranquility of the state.
The governor singled out the 301 Artillery Regiment, Gombe for special commendation, describing its continuous cooperation with the state government, as largely responsible for the relative peace the state is currently enjoying.
“I want to also thank the other security agencies, particularly the DSS and the Nigerian Police for working with us and in addition, I believe within the North-east, no other state created a specific ministry to be incharge of internal security except Gombe.”
Mr Yahaya also stressed that in order to tap from the experiences of veterans, his administration appointed a retired army colonel, police commissioner and the state director of security as special advisers on security matters and other related issues.
“We all know that without security no aspect of development will ever take place and for sure these crop of people have been working day and night to provide peace, security harmony and to provide the leadership required in order for Gombe to attain this feat, so we thank each and every one of you for contributing towards peace on which we are able to catapult Gombe to get to its current level.”
Mr Yahaya, however, sounded a note of caution to the Nigerian Army and other security agencies on the precarious nature of Gombe State given its geographical location at the centre of the North-east.
He said there is evidence suggesting that because of the relative peace and tranquility Gombe enjoys, the state is becoming a transit camp for criminals to either acquire illicit materials or use as a safe haven for planning of criminal activities.
He said being an abandoned grazing reserve for so many years, the Wawa-Zange is gradually becoming a safe haven for renegades escaping the onslaught of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
“The peace should not deceive us to rest until we make sure that we protect the people and give them the environment on which no threat will come in so that they can move forward; the Army can do a lot in that regard particularly in the Wawa-Zange grazing reserve which is 144 thousand hectares of land that is specifically made for animal husbandry.
“It is the design of the Almighty that we share boundaries with all the states in the North East so whatever happens to any of those states dovetails to Gombe”.
“There is need for us to put special attention to that, so I will like this meeting to devise some means by which you can give effective and efficient cover in terms of security, especially now that southern states have enacted laws proscribing open grazing”.
The governor frowned at the inability of the laws proscribing open grazing in the southern part of the country to provide options for either ranching or colony for the herders.
He also noted that as Nigerians, government must provide the necessary environment for herders in order to enhance their business and to live happily and harmoniously with the entire people of the State.
“The state alone cannot do that, the federal government cannot do that, it takes the action of each and every one of us from the federal government to the state to the individuals that form this state for us to have a harmonious and peaceful co-existence and I hope this will form part of your consideration of this discussion of the middle level and Junior cadre military officers so that they have an alternative way by which we can protect the people”.
Mr Yahaya assured the Nigerian Army and other security agencies in the state that his administration will not develop a cold feet towards assisting their operations in the state.
Earlier in his address of welcome, the General Officer commanding 3 Armoured Division, Isa Ali, a major general, said the purpose of the training is to improve the professional efficiency and harmonise relationship between the Nigerian Army and other stakeholders in promoting internal security in 3rd Division Area of Responsibility, AOR.
The GOC maintained that the training week will equally afford officers the opportunity to contribute to topical issues in line with the chief of army staff’s vision which is “To have a professional Nigerian Army ready to accomplish assigned missions in defence of Nigeria”.
He said as a stakeholder in the development of the country, the Nigerian Army has the responsibility to profer solutions to the challenges confronting the nation, especially in the realm of security.
He used the occasion to thank the governor for his continuous support to the Nigerian Army and sister agencies.
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