Insecurity: Gov. Kefas seeks Air Force intervention in Taraba

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Abuja.

Gov. Agbu Kefas of Taraba, has urged the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to upscale surveillance and air interdiction to obliterate criminal elements on porous Nigeria-Cameroun border.

The Director, Public Relations and Information, NAF, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, in a statement on Saturday in Abuja, said Kefas made the call during a courtesy visit on the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar.

The statement quoted the governor as saying that there was the need for improved collaboration with NAF in view of the various security challenges confronting the state.

He acknowledged the pivotal role NAF plays in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations, particularly in the northeast region.

According to him, NAF’s air power capabilities provide the most potent solution to curb the activities of terrorists and criminals operating in the northeast region.

This, he said, necessitated an enhanced cooperation to checkmate the criminal activities on the border, especially in Taraba, and called for NAF’s support to curtail terrorists and bandits who  were bent to make life unbearable for peace-loving people of the state.

The governor also announced plans to reopen and upgrade the Suntai Airport, Jalingo, and his efforts aimed at checkmating illegal mining in the state.

The statement also quoted Abubakar as commending the governor for his developmental initiatives, especially agricultural transformation plans in view of the vast arable land in state.

Abubakar also lauded Kefas’ educational and skills development programmes, adding the gesture would provide employment opportunities to the youths and reduce crimes.

While appreciating the governor over plans to reopen and upgrade the airport in Jalingo, Abubakar said that it would lead to resumption of domestic flights, attract investors, and enable NAF platforms to operate and enhance its operations in Taraba and beyond.

The CAS also hailed the prohibition of mining activities in the state, saying that ending illegal mining activities would enable the state to harness the wealth beneath its soil.

He further said that proper mining activities would discourage acts of criminality since it had become clear that illegal mining activities are directly linked to terrorism and banditry.

On the security risks around the border with Cameroun, Abubakar said the vast expanse of porous border land measuring about 107 Kilometre which Taraba shares with the Republic of Cameroun had posed security threats to the state and the entire Nation.

He assured that NAF would collaborate with the Taraba government in patrolling the vast border while also giving confidence to the people to thrive.

“Rest assured of NAF’s full cooperation and support until you succeed in delivering the dividends of democracy to your people,” Abubakar said in the statement.

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