Deputy Governor of Kaduna state, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe has called on the Nigerian Army to deploy more troops to the state so as to bolster the ongoing offensive against banditry and kidnapping.
The Deputy Governor made this call when the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Farouk Yahaya and other Principal Officers of the Nigerian Army, paid her a courtesy call at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House.
Dr Balarabe who said the ongoing offensive in parts of the metropolis has yielded positive results, however appealed to the Army Chief to firm up the attacks across the state with the aim of wiping out the bandits.
The Deputy Governor further requested for deployment of troops along Kaduna- Kachia-Kafanchan road, as well as increased military presence along Kaduna-Birnin Gwari road because of increased incidences of kidnappings.
“We are also appealing for more deployment of troops along the Kaduna-Kachia road. This is one place that in recent times, has become a very serious source of concern. Initially, we were thinking of the Kaduna-Abuja highway, but now because of the presence of troops there, kidnapping and banditry have moved to around Kaduna-Kachia-Kafanchan axis,’’ she added.
According to the Deputy Governor, Kaduna state government is also seeking for increased military presence in Rigachikun and Igabi local government general area.
She also appealed for the more troops or even setting up a Forward Operating Base in locations like Rigachikun village, adding that the area has also come under very heavy attacks in recent times.
Dr Balarabe who said that the government appreciates the ongoing operations in Igabi, Chikun, Giwa and Kajuru, however advocated for a more coordinated approach to tackle the bandits ‘’because once you are in this area, they move to other areas because the forest connects to other areas and forests.’
She also said the Army should consider increasing troops in the Southern Kaduna general area, especially Zangon Kataf due to the recent conflicts in the area council.
The Deputy Governor praised the leadership of Operation Safe Haven for putting in their best in trying to secure the southern part of the state.
‘’We have had relative peace until recently when the crisis in Zangon Kataf started again and we feel that we should have more troops deployed there because it’s like the situation is overwhelming,’’ she noted.
Earlier, the Chief of Army Staff who said that they were in Kaduna for a Senior Officers Seminar, commended the Kaduna State Government for the support being given to the Army.
“I would like to particularly appreciate His Excellency the Governor, Nasir El-Rufai for all the support we enjoy from him and from the Government of Kaduna State. I was here as the General Officer Commanding; I know how we related.
He said the Nigerian Army is aware of the security challenges in the areas mentioned and assured that they will be on top of the situation, adding that troops are now taking the battle to the bandits.