The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-General Tukur Buratai has said that the relocation of some units of the Nigerian Army from Yaba to Epe, Lagos State, would boost security in the Northern part of Lagos and parts of Ogun state.
The Army Chief said this while delivering his remarks on Saturday at the ground breaking ceremony for the relocation of 81 Division Base Ordinance Depot, Nigerian Army Printing Press and 81 Division Tailoring Factory at Epe, Headquarters of Epe Local Government Area.
The units are being relocated from Yaba to give way for expansion of dual carriage railway system of the Lagos-Ibadan railway project of the Federal Government.
Construction of the units is being sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Transport and executed through direct labour by Nigerian Army Engineers and Nigerian Army Special Project. They are to be constructed on about 740 hectares of land, which in the past housed the artillery regiment that was deployed in Epe in the 1970s before the reorganisation of the army.
The Army Chief said previous military operations and exercises conducted in Epe, such as exercise crocodile smile I and II, as well as recent establishment of Forward Operation Base in the town, were aimed at curtailing activities of criminals and improve security situations in the area.
Buratai said with the presence of the army units in Epe there would be much higher level of security in the area.
“I want to say that 81 Division is up to task to deal with criminal activities of yahoo boys, area boys, kidnappers and other criminal elements in this area. We are doing this in conjunction with other security agencies,” he said.
He expressed appreciation to the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Ameachi, “in facilitating the prompt approval and released of funds that has made this project a reality.”
“We wish to also extend our appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for his relentless and profound support to the Nigerian Army,” he said.
“On behalf of the Nigerian Army officers and soldiers I pledge our continuous loyalty and allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
In his remarks, the Minister of Transport who was represented by the Deputy Director Railway Services, Barry Odii, appreciated the Nigerian Army for its cooperation in making relocation of the units possible.
He said the railway modernisation project was part of the Federal Government development plan to ease movement of people and goods, and also has the capacity of moving thousands of citizens out of poverty.