By Boluwaji Obahopo
Lokoja—THE Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, yesterday said the Nigerian Army would soon deploy Special Forces to Kogi to help tackle crime in the state.
Buratai disclosed this when he paid a courtesy call on Governor Yahaya Bello at the Government House in Lokoja.
The army chief said plans were at an advanced stage to deploy the troops to the affected areas in the state.
He said: “I want to assure you that very soon we will deploy Special Forces to the state. That is why I came here with the Commander, Army Headquarters Garrison; he is getting them ready and by Monday they should be on ground. They will come with their vehicles and their sustenance, so very soon they will come in and begin the operation.”
Buratai expressed regrets that previous efforts at containing insecurity in the state had failed, assuring of the army’s commitment to tackling the security challenge.
Buratai also commended the efforts of other security agencies in the state in checking insecurity.
Responding, Bello decried the rising cases of kidnapping and armed banditry in some parts of the state and said the situation was deteriorating as new cases of kidnapping were being reported on a daily basis.
Bello solicited the support of the Federal Government to help rid the state of criminals, noting “With the support of the military and other security agencies in the state, the security situation in the state improved tremendously. But the situation has changed, recently new cases are reported on a daily basis and this is frustrating. It is so bad that some travelers who hitherto pass through the state have started running away from the state. That is why we are soliciting the assistance of the Federal Government to help us with equipment and the force to clear the hills and forest where they are hiding.”
According to him, he state government had adopted measures to improve the situation in the state and said the state government recently launched a security awareness campaign known as “ Operation Know Your Neighbour.”
He emphasized the need for citizens to be conscious of happenings around them, adding that all buildings linked to any kidnap kingpin would be demolished.
Buratai was on a working visit to army formations in the state.