By Femi Bolaji,
JALINGO – GOVERNOR Darius Ishaku of Taraba state has affirmed that the country will save $8 billion usually spent on the importation of rice from other countries annually if there is peace between farmers and herdsmen in Taraba state.
Ishaku who stated this on Monday when Chief of Air staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar paid him a visit at the government house in Jalingo noted that the state is capable of producing sufficient rice for the country annually if there is sustained peace in the state.
He said “I can feed the whole country with rice because we have what it takes but I can’t do this because my people are not at home.
” I told Mr president when he was here that I can feed the whole country with rice. The $8 billion we spend on importing rice will be saved.
“We have river Taraba, we have river Donga coupled with the fertile lands but then I can’t do this because my people are not at home and are killed for no reason”, he added.
Ishaku who believes Taraba is capable of achieving the dream of feeding the nation with rice solicited for the support of the Air force in the fight against insecurity for lasting peace and development in the state.
He noted that “as a necessity we need you to be on ground and I am very happy you have put your men in Goroje and Gembu.
“I want to assure you that in Taraba state we are willing to help you in any way because we want peace to return. If peace returns my people will be happy and be stabilized”, he added.
Speaking earlier, Chief of Air staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar said the force headquarters has deployed special air forces to Taraba state to curb the spate of insecurity in some parts of the state.
He noted that the essence was to complement other security agencies currently tackling insecurity in Taraba state, adding that all logistics to ensure the success of their operation in the state is being taken care of by the Nigerian Air force.
“We have brought in highly trained and professional special forces of the Nigerian air force which will be supported by aircrafts operating from Yola and Makurdi and also by those that will be positioned in Jalingo and from the location of the Unit.
“The Air force is taking care of all the needs of our officers and men in Taraba state and therefore not going to ask for any form of allowance from the state government. All that we want is to get the support of the people”, he said.
Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar also explained that the 23 quick response wing of the Air force currently operating from Gembu in Taraba state is one of the three wings special unit established by the Air council with the two others in Agatu, Benue state and in Doma, Nasarawa state.