Posted by News Express | 29 February 2020 | 551 times
Defence Minister, Maj-Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd), has assured Nigerians that the armed forces are prepared to end the activities of Boko Haram insurgents, kidnappers and other criminals in the country.
Magashi said that the military are combat ready to bring to make the country safer for Nigerians, adding that the end of insurgency and kidnapping was in sight.
The minister disclosed that the Ministry of Defence would soon establish a full military battalion in the Falgore Forest to complement the efforts of the Kano State government at ensuring security in the region.
Magashi made the statement during the foundation stone laying ceremony for the first phase of the Nigerian Army Training Area located at Falgore Forest, being built by the Kano State government to dislodge terrorists and bandits from the area.
He said that the battalion and its facilities when built would be used to address any security challenge in the region and beyond.
“In addition to what Kano State is doing by establishing the training area, I will make sure that more military barracks are built around here; it will not be out of place to put a battalion here in Falgore (Tudun- Wada) and it will re-enforce all the confidence neighbours have in the area and make it safer for productive economy and living,” the minister said.
He, therefore, called on the Nigerian Army to reciprocate the efforts of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje by making judicious usen of the facility.
The Falgore Forest, which was originally carved out as games reserve for botanical study, tourism and recreational activities by the state government, was for many years seized by terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, cattle rustlers and armed robbers among others before the military routed them out.
Governor Ganduje who laid the foundation stone, said that the 1,000 square kilometres forest project was being carried out after detailed planning and collaboration with the Nigerian Army to stem the activities of criminals operating in the area.
He said: “The N500 million facility, which is made up of administrative blocks, dormitory, cafeteria and other buildings, is the phase one of the project, while the contract for the construction of an access road to the facility has since been awarded by the state Ministry of Works.
“I contacted the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari and briefed him of my intention to provide some facilities at the Falgore Forest and he consented to that. He directed me to see the chief of army staff and brief him of my intention.
“I was with the army and they agreed that they would collaborate with us in order to get some facilities for the military here,” Ganduje said.
In an earlier report, the governor said that the Falgore Forest could host over five million cattle and called on herdsmen across Nigeria to relocate to the area to stop the herders-farmers clashes in the country. The chief of army staff, Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai, commended Governor Ganduje for his efforts towards ensuring peace and stability in the state and the country in general, stressing that the facility would enhance the training and operations of the military in the vast area.
“His Excellency has actualised his earlier promise to allocate a training area and build a training facility for the Nigerian Army in the Falgore forest. The military activities to be embarked on in the forest will keep the forest peaceful and enhance economic activities in the suburbs.
“I am also glad to know that Kano State is one of the most peaceful states today in our dear country,” Buratai said.
He further called the state government to expedite action on the 4.5-kilometre remaining part of the project as well as ensure the issuance of certificate of occupancy to forestall future challenge of ownership.
Buratai was represented by the Army’s Chief of Policy and Planning officer, Lt-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun.
The majority leader of the House of Representative, Hon. Ado Dogwuwa, said that farmers who abandoned their farmlands because of security threat could now come back as the fringes of the forest, which had served as a food basket to many states including Niger Republic. The forest is the longest in northern Nigeria, with agrarian economy surrounding it and stretches to the fringes of the notorious Sambisa Forest, where Boko Haram operates, Bauchi, Kaduna, Jigawa, and Katsina, Zamfara States and even neighbouring Niger Republic. (Leadership)
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