Address by His Excellency, Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule, the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State on the Occasion of the Foundation Laying /Flag-off of the Construction of Special Force Command Headquarters, Doma, Nasarawa State: Monday, 1st June, 2020

1. Your Excellencies and my Colleagues, Executive Governors here present;
2. His Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State;
3. The Right Honourable Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly;
4. The Honourable Chief Judge, Nasarawa State;
5. Distinguished Senators and Members of the National Assembly here present;
6. The Honourable Minister of FCT, Alh. Muhammad Musa Bello;
7. The Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Yusuf Tukur Buratai;
8. Members of the State Executive and Security Councils;
9. The Secretary to the Government of Nasarawa State;
10. The Head of Civil Service;
11. Permanent Secretaries in the Service of Nasarawa State;
12. His Royal Highness, Hon. Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad I JSC (Rtd) Emir of Lafia and Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs;
13. Your Royal Highnesses, Emirs and Chiefs from the North-Central States here present;
14. Your Royal Highnesses, Emirs and Chiefs, Nasarawa State;
15. Representatives of Security and Para-Military Agencies;
16. Gentlemen of the Press;
17. Ladies and Gentlemen.

I am highly delighted to address you today on the occasion of the Foundation Laying/Official flag-off of the Construction of Special Force Command Headquarters in Doma, Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.

2. I warmly welcome Your Excellencies, the Executive Governors of Plateau, Benue and Kogi States who found time to be in our midst at this all-important event. Indeed, we are honoured by your esteemed presence. Let me specially welcome the Honourable Minister of the FCT, Muhammad Musa Bello to Nasarawa State to grace this event.

3. Similarly, I welcome the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Yusuf Tukur Buratai and his entourage to Nasarawa State, whose auspices we are gathered to witness the foundation laying ceremony for the construction of the headquarters of the Special Force Command in Doma. Your presence in our midst today is a demonstration of our collective commitment to address security challenges not only in Nasarawa State, but the country at large. Indeed, this development is an indication that the North Central Zone, including Nasarawa State will soon join the league of States that experience peace and security in the country.

4. Let me express our profound appreciation to His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for graciously approving the construction of the Special Forces Command Headquarters in Doma. I wish to also appreciate Mr. President for the establishment of two (2) Super Camps at Mararaban-Udege and Kanyehu in Nasarawa and Toto Local Government Areas. Similarly, let me appreciate Mr. President for establishing Mobile Police Training School in Nasarawa Eggon and the siting of Airforce Command Base in the Lafia Cargo Airport for air surveillance within the North-Central Zone.

5. Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, as you are aware, Nasarawa State is located in the North-Central Geo-Political Zone alongside Benue, Kogi, Plateau, Kwara, Niger and the Federal capital Territory, Abuja, whose major occupation is farming. It is important to note that our soil has rich potentials with good climatic condition in which over 80% of our population engages in one agricultural activities or the other. The competition for scarce land between the farmers and herders in the zone has made it vulnerable to many security challenges ranging from communal crisis, clashes between herdsmen and farmers, kidnapping, banditry, cattle rustling, among other socio-economic security challenges in the zone. This, no doubt, has continued to threaten the fragile peace and security in our respective States with attendant effects on the security of the zone.

6. Consequently, successive Governments in the State took far-reaching measures, including reporting to Mr. President at various stages of the crisis in addition to the conduct of Joint Security Meetings in the zone with a view to resolving security challenges amicably, especially in our border areas in which resolutions were always reported to Mr. President for consideration.

7. Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, it has become imperative to come-up with holistic measures to address these plethora security challenges in order to avert the likely breakdown of the seemingly peaceful and harmonious co-existence among diverse ethnic nationalities, as well as maintenance of law and order in the society. To address this menace, the Federal Government has set-up different Military Operations in the zone. These include:
i. A Special Joint Military Operations which was codenamed Ayum Kpatuma or Cat Race with the operation headquarters in Nasarawa State to take care of the entire North-central zone.

ii. Operation Whirl Stroke Special Force, with its Command Headquarters in Makurdi, Benue State and operational bases in the States to address farmers herders conflict in the zone.

iii. Establishment of 123 Special Force Battalion in Doma. The Barrack, if fully completed, will serve as the headquarters of the Nigerian Army Special Forces Command which will assist in checkmating the menace of cattle rustling, banditry, kidnapping, farmers/herders clashes and other forms of criminalities in the zone.

iv. The establishment of two Military Super Camps at Mararaban-Udege in Nasarawa Local Government and Kanyehu in Toto Local Government Areas.
8. In furtherance to our commitment to complement the efforts of Nigerian Army in the fight against crime and criminality in the State, the State Government has constructed four (4) bedroom flat and boys’ quarters as Commander’s residence, as well as 5Nos. bedroom semi-detached for other Senior Officers. This is in addition to the provision of three (3) brand new Toyota Hilux Pick-up Vans; brand new motorcycles; Solar-powered boreholes; one hundred (100) 8spring mattresses; Generating sets, as well as provision of Perimeter Excavation round the two Camps.

9. I am happy to inform you that, in 2018, the Nasarawa State Government donated the sum of Two Hundred Million Naira (N200,000,000.00) only as part of its contribution to support the construction of this project. In addition, I have also approved the sum of Ten Million Naira (N10,000,000.00) only as monthly allocation for the sustenance of the two Super Camps.

10. Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, let me use this medium to appreciate the Chief of Army Staff for his doggedness and resilience in fighting insurgency in the North-east; farmers/herders conflict in the North-central and kidnapping & banditry in the North-west. To this end and as part of the measures to combat crime and criminality in the State, the Nasarawa State Government has signed the Kidnapping Act Prohibition Law; Community Volunteer Guard (Vigilante); Executive Order for the Implementation of the Child Right Law of Nasarawa State and Street Begging. All these measures are aimed at ensuring security and peaceful co-existence with the view to providing enabling environment for socio-economic activities to thrive.

11. At this juncture, let me once again express our profound appreciation to Mr. President for approving the establishment of the Special Forces Command Headquarters; Special Military Super Camps in Kanyehu and Udege-Mbeki in Toto and Nasarawa Local Government Areas. Let me also commend our Military Personnel for the untiring effort in the maintenance of peace and stability in the society. I urge you to sustain the tempo for the benefit of our people. I assure you of our continuous synergy in our collective determination to protect lives and property.

12. On this note, it is now my pleasure to flag-off the Construction Headquarters of Special Force Command in Doma, the headquarters of Doma Local Government Area of the State.

13. Thank you and may God bless us all.

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