That Military Training Centre in Falgore Forest
By Mahmud Abdulsalam
Kano, the commercial capital of the North, is a mega city of long-standing history and rich cultural heritage. The ancient city, an epicentre of boisterous trading and hordes of business activities, is the livewire of Northern Nigeria’s economy.
Though, it was relatively peaceful for centuries, Kano, especially in the last ten years, has been hit by waves of insecurity.
First, it was the invasion of the city by Boko Haram terrorists. Between 2010 and 2015, Boko Haram fighters launched attacks on Muslim congregations observing Friday prayers, at different places in Kano metropolis, using female suicide bombers, surprisingly.
The late Emir of Kano, His Royal Highness, HRH, Alhaji (Dr) Ibrahim Ado Bayero, was not spared by these merchants of death. Twice, assassination attempts on his life were carried out by suspected terrorists of the extremist sect.
Then, fast forward to 2017, 2018, and 2019, the story changed. It became the menace of phone snatching and killing of victims by hoodlums. This replaced terrorist attacks on worshippers. On frequent basis, cases of phone snatching and killing of the victims in Kano became daily staple in the media.
Ever since banditry and Kidnapping became a ‘thriving’ business for criminals, Kano State, became a safe haven. The State, like others in the North West, and Central, has been at the mercy of bandits and brutal kidnappers, for over two years now.
The State Government, under the leadership of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, if truth be told, is losing sleep over the wave of crimes and activities of criminal elements in the State. However, it is not leaving any stone unturned, in its bid to rid Kano of insecurity.
Towards safeguarding internal security, the Kano State government and the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) have resolved to further strengthen the ongoing efforts to tackle the activities of bandits in the state.
This was disclosed when the Governor Ganduje, paid a visit to the DHQ at the Armed Forces complex, in Abuja, recently.
Speaking during the visit, the Governor solicited increased support from the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN), in securing the state’s forest against banditry and other forms of criminality currently bedeviling the state.
Dr Ganduje stated that his administration is looking forward to stronger ties with the AFN in the area of security, particularly in securing the Falgore forest which he said, has become a hideout for bandits and other criminals.
He further noted that the nation’s forests are now safe havens for criminals, who after perpetrating their nefarious activities return to the forest reserves.
The Governor commended the Nigerian Army (NA) for establishing a training centre in Falgore Forest.
He added, that this will enable troops take full control of the general area with their consistent presence.
Dr. Ganduje commended the Chief of Defence staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor for the coordination and synergy among the defence and security agencies since his assumption of command as the CDS.
Attributing some of the security challenges bedeviling the nation to partisan politics, the governor expressed confidence in the Defence Chief to succeed in the task of ensuring national security.
The Governor further informed the CDS that adequate cooperation and cordiality exist among the AFN, security agencies and paramilitary organisations in Kano state.
He revealed that the state government is equally deploying technology to curtail insecurity within Kano metropolis.
Ganduje, added that community policing in the state is also yielding positive results as anticipated.
In his response, the CDS, Gen Irabor expressed appreciation to the government and people of Kano state for the solidarity visit.
He reaffirmed the commitment of AFN to support kano and other troubled states in providing adequate security for law abiding Nigerians, as well as foreign nationals.
The CDS also stated that the AFN would continue to partner with Forest Guards towards securing the vast forests across the nation.
Irabor also noted that the establishment of training centre in Falgore Forest by the NA was intended to meet the security demand in the area.
He commended the Kano state government for providing requisite facilities and structures for the training ground.
“These efforts”, Gen Irabor noted, “is fast becoming a model” and urged other state governments to emulate the initiative in order to secure the forest reserves in their states.
He pointed out that the AFN undoubtedly remains a veritable tool for the implementation of government policy in the national security architecture.
“We are more along the line of kinetic actions with minimal non-kinetic intervention,” the CDS added.
The intervention of the DHQ towards securing Kano from criminals such as bandits and making it a haven for human dwthe elling is indeed timely.
That Governor Ganduje is seeking stronger ties with the Gen. Irabor-led defense headquarters, at a time the situation is almost taking a ‘bad turn’ in Kano State, may not sit well in some quarters. But as they, “it is better late, than never”
Mahmud Abdulsalam is Assistant Editor PRNigeria
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