Kaduna state government has appealed to the new General Officer Commanding (GOC) of One Mechanised Division, Major General Usman Mohammed, to dedicate troops that will aggressively patrol some hotspots in four local government areas.
Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, who made the appeal on Friday, said that there are concerns in Igabi, Birnin Gwari, Giwa and Chikun local governments because bandits are hibernating in some communities in the four councils.
The Commissioner specifically mentioned that armed bandits have killed, kidnapped and injured many people in hotspots like Mile Tara, Ungwan Yako, Labbi and Polewaya, pleading that security needs to be strengthened along those axis.
Aruwan, while congratulating General Mohammed as the 36th GOC of 1 Mechanised Division, said that officers and men of the Division have played very crucial roles in the internal security of Kaduna state.
According to him, ‘’in 2015 when we came on board, the state was faced with security challenges like cattle rustling, banditry and other criminalities. The Division played a leading role along with other sister services and the police in quelling the threat, and eventually the situation was adequately contained.
“Government will not forget in a hurry, the role officers and men of the Division played in 2016/2017 in the heat of the security challenges in Southern Kaduna. The FOB established by the Nigerian Army in Kafanchan was the first siting of a military base dedicated to internal security management in Southern Kaduna general area in nearly 40-years,’’ he said.
“The personnel were drawn from 1 Division, before the take-over by the DHQ’s Operation Safe Haven OPSH. The troops of the DHQ’s are in five LGAs of Southern Kaduna area. The officers and men of your Division and those of the Nigerian Navy in Kachia were instrumental in dousing the crises that emanated in Kajuru LGA in 2017 and beyond. They are still holding the fort with dedication, hard work and professionalism.
‘’The story is the same in Birnin Gwari, Igabi, Giwa, Chikun and other emerging fronts in Zaria, Kubau, Makarfi, Kudan, Ikara, Soba and Lere local government areas. Government appreciates the commitment of the Division to contain the cases of banditry, kidnappings and other criminalities in Igabi, Giwa, Chikun, and Birnin Gwari LGAs.
‘’We will go public with concerns to allay the fears of our communities in Igabi, Birnin Gwari, Giwa and Chikun LGAs in view of the armed bandits hibernating in the four councils,’’ he added.
The Commissioner, who noted that the rainy season is here, and most of the people in the rural areas are farmers and traders, argued that they can’t eke out a living once there is insecurity. ‘’Farming is their mainstay, along with other small scale agro-allied activities. Once there is no security to guarantee their livelihood, they will be faced with impoverishment and food insecurity.”
The Commissioner therefore appealed to General Mohammed to earnestly review the state government’s plea. ‘’The Kaduna state government will also like to seek your further support in the ongoing lockdown over the Covid-19 scourge,’’ Aruwan also said .
Major General Mohammed, in his remarks, assured Kaduna state government of the Nigerian Army’s commitment to the internal security of the state. He also promised to work hard in order to improve the security situation of the state from where his predecessor left.