Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, yesterday vowed that violent crimes in the Niger Delta demanding military intervention would be squarely dealt with, restating the commitment of the military to flush out criminal elements in the region.
Speaking at the commissioning of the headquarters of the 63 Brigade Complex and the official operationalization of the brigade in Asaba, Buratai said the success of Operation Crocodile Smile IV was an indication that the military was battle ready for criminal elements in the region.
Saying that the state was very critical in view of its strategic importance to the South-South and open direct access to seas, he commended the Delta State Government for providing logistics for the brigade.
Speaking further, Buratai also thanked the State Government for providing an expanse of land along the Benin-Asaba-Onitsha highway for the brigade and its battalions.
According to him, the government’s support has engendered civil/military relationship, saying: “the brigade will work closely with sister agencies in flushing out criminals from the state.
“Your donation and funding of this complex show that the partnership with the military in development. You have also given land for the brigade and its battalions.
“The army will reciprocate by ensuring that peace and security persist and prosper in the state.”
While inaugurating the complex, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa told security agencies to step up efforts at tackling security challenges especially the farmers/herders clashes which recently assumed worrisome dimension in the state.
Okowa assured the Army of his administration resolve to continue to support security agencies despite the low finances of the State.
The Governor said: “I must truly thank the Chief of Army Staff for bringing this Brigade to Delta. We used to be supervised by the Brigade in Benin and we were excited when we heard of the approval for a Brigade in Asaba.
“I thank God for the provision of funds for the realisation of this Brigade and I thank you for the support because the operationalisation of this Brigade will help us to achieve greater peace in Delta. We have had a very warm relationship with your officers here and that of the 6 Division.
“As a state, we take security matters very seriously even as we meet twice a month. Your officers have cooperated with other sister security agencies and that has helped us in achieving the peace we enjoy in the state.
“Delta is peaceful today, though we have had few incidences that make us sad with all hands on deck we will surmount all the security challenges. We will continue to support the army and other security agencies in the state as much as our finances can carry.
“We still have security challenges such as farmers-herders clashes and kidnapping which obviously was going down but we still have a lot of work to do even though we are already working hard and we do hope that the cooperation we have in the past will continue”.