The Executive Governor of Kebbi State, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu has affirmed that operations of the Nigerian Army, NA, in the State have given a boost to agricultural activities in the State.
Governor Bagudu made the affirmation on Tuesday, 19 October, during a courtesy call on him at the State Government House, by the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya, who was on an operational visit to 8 Division to assess troops’ operational engagements in the Division’s Area of Responsibility.
TheFact Nigeria notes that since banditry and kidnappings became a normal occurrence in the Northeast, farming in Kebbi has been threatened as farmers who farm rice and other crops boycott their farms for fear of being abducted by dreaded armed bandits. This trend had resulted in poor harvests and astronomical level of inflations making foodstuffs unaffordable to the poor. It is noted also, that several of these farmers have been kidnapped, and many also have paid ransom to regain their freedom.
Governor Bagudu, during the visit, lauded the activities of the army, which he said had increasingly enabled farmers gain access to their farms without threats; especially farmers in Danko Wassagu, who have now returned to their farming occupation.
He urged the NA to sustain her operations and bring about lasting peace in Kebbi State and Nigeria at large, while commending them for providing aid to civil authority at a critical period, when non-State actors were engendering criminality and insecurity in the society and were being shielded by unpatriotic citizens.
He further called for partnership of the NA with other security agencies and stakeholders to rid the north west of banditry, and reaffirmed the state government’s commitment in collaborating with the NA to tackle insecurity in the state.
Governor Bagudu also introduced reconfigured operational vehicles to the COAS, which he said were constructed by the state government under the supervision of the Deputy Governor, Colonel Samaila Yombe Dabai (rtd) to provide operational platforms for troops. He assured the COAS that the vehicles will soon be handed over to the troops for deployment.
In his remarks, the COAS, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya lauded the State government and people of Kebbi state for their support to the NA. He added that renewed measures will be taken to address the security challenges affecting the state.
The COAS drew the attention of the State government to the need to sensitize the public on the dangers of colluding with bandits to create panic within their communities. He also noted that all hands must be on deck to resolutely deal with the prevailing security situation.
In the same vein, the COAS paid a visit to His Royal Highness, the Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Muhammadu Iliyasu Bashar, where he appealed with traditional leaders to guide the conduct of members of their communities against providing tacit support to bandits. If this is achieved, the COAS stressed, it will aid, in no small measure, the relentless effort of security operatives to restore law and order in the north west geopolitical zone.
The Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Muhammadu Iliyasu Bashar, commended the COAS for embarking on an operational tour of formations and units to give direction and guidance on how to overcome the diverse security challenges confronting the country.
The COAS, also took a tour of 1 Battalion, Birnin Kebbi, where he was given detailed operational brief on the security situation of Kebbi state.
In his address to troops of the Battalion, General Yahaya urged them to remain focused and professional in the conduct of every operation. He disclosed that arrangement is being made to provide the unit with necessary equipment to enable it carry out its mandate.