By Mohammad Tijjani
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai, on Wednesday inaugurated the Army forward operation base in Kafanchan, Kaduna State.
The base was established to tackle ethno-religious crisis, banditry and cattle rustling in southern Kaduna.
Buratai said the base was designed to serve as a critical staging area for effective conduct of operation by troops in the Kafanchan general area.
”We intend to consolidate on the efforts so far achieved in curtailing cattle rustling, clashes between farmers and herdsmen, banditry, ethno-religious crisis and other criminalities in the general area.
“It is our hope this facility would serve as a firm Base for the furtherance of various operation along the axis,” he said.
The Army chief said recurring clashes in southern Kaduna and environs has been of great concern to government and security agencies.
”Consequently based on the threat perception, the NA ORBAT 2016 recommended the establishment of an Infantry battalion to be sited in Kafanchan.
”The Army Headquarters decided to establish a forward operation base which will form the nucleus upon which the future unit will be created and expanded as provided for in the NA ORBAT 2016.”
The News Agency of Nigeria [NAN] reports that the Chief of Army Staff was represented by Maj-Gen Abdulrasheed Yusuf, the Commander, Training and Doctrine Command.
The COAS tasked the troops to remain vigilant and make effective use of available facilities to conduct deep operation and ensure that bandits hiding in the area were flushed out.
“I reaffirm our unalloyed loyalty and support of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Acting President Prof Yemi Osinbajo for their interest and untiring support to the Nigerian Army and its activities.” Buratai said.
Also speaking, Gov. Nasiru El-Rufi’a of Kaduna State, said his administration would partner the Army and other security agencies to fight crime in the state.
The governor was represented by Yakubu Soja, Chairman of the state special security outfit, Operation Yaki.
The Emir of Jema’a, Muhammad Isa commended the federal and state governments on effort to ensure security in the area.
”I appeal to citizens to give the security agencies maximum support to achieve peace in the area,” the emir said.
Also, the paramount ruler of Kagoma Chiefdom, Mr Paul Zakka said peace was necessary for development and progress.
“We thank President Buhari in his effort to bring peace to Nigeria and Kaduna state.
“The traditional institutions in southern Kaduna are committed to peace,” he said.
NAN report that construction at the base commenced on Feb. 15, 2017 and was completed on May 15.
The Forward Base barrack comprises officers and soldiers accommodation area.