Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has flagged off the construction of the headquarters of the Nigerian Army Special Forces Command, in Doma.
Engineer Sule, performed the foundation laying ceremony, in company of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai, on Monday, in Doma, headquarters of Doma Local Government Area.
In his goodwill message, the Governor described the event as a demonstration of the collective commitment to address security challenges not only in the state but the country at large, stressing that with this development, the North Central zone, including Nasarawa State, will soon be shun of all criminal tendencies, as the region joins the league of states that experience peace and security in the country.
Engineer Sule expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the project, as well as the establishment of two super camps at Mararaban-Udege and Kenyehu, in Nasarawa and Toto Local Government Areas.
The Governor equally thanked the President for establishing a Mobile Police Training school in Nasarawa Eggon and siting of Airforce Command base in Lafia Cargo Airport for air surveillance within the North Central zone.
He pointed out that with Nasarawa State predominantly agrarian, like other states in the region, competition for scarce land between farmers and herders, opened up the zone to many security challenges ranging from communal crisis, clashes between herdsmen and farmers, kidnapping, banditry, cattle rustling, among others.
According to Engineer Sule, these security challenges, have continued to threaten the fragile peace and security in the states, with attendant effects on the security of the zone.
The Governor disclosed that successive governments in the state took far-reaching measures, including reporting to the President, in addition to conducting joint security meetings in the zone, with a view to resolving security challenges along border areas amicably.
He disclosed further that in a bid to bring about a holistic approach to address the plethora of security challenges, aimed at averting likelihood of the breakdown of existing peace between diverse ethnic nationalities, as well as maintain law and order, the Federal Government, set up different military operations in the zone.
Among these military operations, the Governor said, the 123 Special Force battalion was established in Doma, with the barrack when completed, serving as the headquarters of the Nigerian Army Special Forces Command, which will assist in the fight against cattle rustling, banditry, kidnapping, farmers/herders clashes, among others.
While showing appreciation to the COAS, for the resilient fight against insurgency in the North East, farmers/herders conflict in the North Central and kidnapping and banditry in the North West, Engineer Sule recalled that in 2018, the state government donated N200m as its contribution in support of the project.
He commended the military for their untiring effort towards maintaining peace and stability across the country, urging them to sustain the tempo while assuring that government will continuously synergize with the military in its desire to protect lives and property.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Buratai, appreciated the Nasarawa State Government for providing the land, other resources, expertise, as well as necessary legal requirement for the construction of the barracks.
The COAS, while restating the commitment of the Nigerian Army to the peace and security of the country, re-emphasized that the army requires the support of enablers to compliment regular forces to combat the plethora of security threats being faced by the country.
Represented at the event by Lt. Gen Lamidi Adeosun, Army Chief of Policy and Plans, Buratai pointed out that following the establishing training school for the special forces, it was only natural for the army to set up a formation to administer, guide and deploy special forces assets wherever the need may arise.
He stressed the significance of realising that all are stakeholders of national security, thereby urged all and sundry to provide credible intelligence to security agencies so that military operations will be more effective.
On his part, Major General Maude Gadzama Ali, Commander Force Special Forces Command, said the command was established to address issues of security challenge not only in the state, North Central but the country at large.