Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State has urged the Nigerian Army to keep close watch on the state to contain the activities of criminals, and halt the possibility of insurgents’ encroachment into the state.
Yahaya made the call when he paid a courtesy call on the Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, on Friday, in Abuja.
He said that Gombe was central to the Northeast, which is the epicenter of insurgency and that it harboured a lot of displaced persons, because of the relative peace it currently enjoyed.
He added that Gombe state needed to be carefully watched and supervised to ensure that insurgency and its consequential effect, did not spiral into the state, which might spread into other parts of the country.
He said that they had observed for some time now, that Gombe was turning into a centre that was providing a transit camp that the insurgents were using to advance their cause.
The governor said that the people utilised Gombe route, to go through Adamawa and link up to the southern end of Borno and Maiduguri, up to the fringes of Lake Chad.
He added that there were other people with long standing trade relationship with Cameroon that go through Adamawa and Taraba.
“Eventually, if care is not taken, we will end up engulfed and eventually extending this unfortunate development to other parts of the country.
“It is on that note that we feel we may have to need constant engagement.
“I feel we need to do more and doing it better at this time, if we have a better understanding with the Nigerian army,” he said.
According to him, together we can join hands, fight, and provide supports to our people, in terms of security and general wellbeing.
“The challenges are so enormous, and this visit is to encourage you not to despair.
“We believe you have the capacity, the tenacity and the vigour to withstand all these, especially if you are given the backup support,” he said.
Yahaya pledged to continue to give the necessary support to the Nigerian army, adding that the centrality of Gombe State had made it to be of essence and service to the military.
Responding, the Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Yahaya, said that Gombe state was central to the military, in conducting its operations in the Northeast.
The COAS assured the governor that the Nigerian army would ensure that the state remained safe and secured, saying 3 Division was currently conducting operations in the state.
“Like you said that if care is not taken, I want to assure you that care will be taken to contain all criminal activities happening in the state.
“We will continue to monitor and do the very best we can,” he said. (NAN)