By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade has tasked the Nigerian Army command in the state to ensure the number of incidences of insecurity in the state reduces to zero.
Mr. Ayade gave the charge Wednesday when he hosted the new Commander of the13 Brigade of the Nigerian Army in the state,, Brigadier General Ismaila Isa who resumed duties on June 16, 2017 where he said as the state moves towards the industrialization stage, security will play a vital role to its success.
“There is no peace, there is no industrialization, there is no deep seaport, there is no superhighway without security,” Ayade said and said his meeting with Gen. Isa was “A great opportunity to thank you because as soon as you came in, you moved into action.”
He said all the projects envisioned by the state will not progress without the aid of the Army as the longitudinal nature of the state positions it to have vast flash points as it has an international boundary with the Cameroons and local boundaries with 4 states; Akwa Ibom, Abia, Benue and Ebonyi states.
The Governor said that the state has made progress with its operated ‘Operation Skolombo’ but the state was willing to provide the necessary infrastructure to boost security with the help of the Army to man egress points as the conventional approach may not actually produce deterrence as a security objective.
“As we move into the industrial stage, we require more than just civil approach to tackle insecurity and produce deterrence in security terms,” Ayade said and also pointed out that due to the Afrocentric nature of Nigeria’s foreign policy, there was need also for young Army officers to be kept engaged to provide internal security which will bolster them to ensure external security and prevent external aggression.
Also, he charged the Army to device means to come out with solutions to the plethora of problems facing the state in infrastructure and food security as the Army is for peace and not trouble.
Earlier, Brig. Gen Isa acknowledged the support of the state to the Army command in particular and security agencies said he will work hard to ensure that the Army delivers on its constitutional mandate.
“We promise to deliver on our part as required,” Gen. Isa said .
He commended the Mr. Ayade’s strides in ensuring the state develops and promised that the Army will “Provide the enabling environment for economic activities to take place and we will continue to do that.”
He said his return to the state was like a homecoming as his first point of duty as a young Army officer was in the then 103 Battalion in Ikom which was later moved to Enugu and the 245 Battalion moved to Ikom and boasted that he recalls every community in every local government area he visited as well as the new yam festivals.
Furthermore, he said he has visited all the units in the state and waded into the Wanihem and Wanikade crisis while visiting units in the northern part of the state and went back there with the Minister of Interior Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazzau (rtd) and said the current situation was calm.
“I can confidently tell you that things have returned to normal,” he said and solicited for more support which Governor Ayade said he will begin by providing 2 Special Pickup Trucks immediately.
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