Army Challenged To Activate Aviation Unit To Combat Banditry

Richard Ginika Izuora

The Chairman, House Committee on Army, Mr Abdulrazak Namdas, has urged the Nigerian Army to activate its aviation unit to support its anti-banditry and kidnapping operations on Abuja-Kaduna highway.

Namdas made the call when he led the members of the committee on an oversight visit to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen, Tukur Buratai on Wednesday in Abuja.

The chairman, who expressed worry that the security challenge in Kaduna had persisted; noted with concern the resurgence of kidnapping activities on Kaduna-Abuja highway.

“We feel that activating Army Aviation will be very apt; because that has been the problem.

“We will work with the executive to see how we can actualise that; because if we have that, this issue of kidnapping and banditry will be a thing of the past,” he said.

Namdas also advocated for strong synergy with other security agencies and the civilian populace.

He said that though the Nigerian Army troops had been very active; synergizing and carrying out civil-military activities in its operations, the cooperation would still be needed to address the menace.

He commended the Army Chief for sustaining and supporting the Command Engineering Depot and Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) to produce more combat vehicles locally.

Namdas also called on Buratai to deploy more tanks to the Armoured Corps to boost its capabilities; adding that the corps could not currently boast of required tanks.

He gave the assurance that the Committee would continue to support the corps; with necessary legislation to discharge its mandates.

Responding, Buratai said the issue of kidnapping and banditry on Abuja-Kaduna highway had been taken care of by the troops in collaboration with the Nigerian Air Force.

He said that the Nigerian Army had also taken steps to support the Nigeria Police on highways operations across the country.

According to him, the Nigerian Army has acquired two helicopters toward the actualisation of its Aviation wing.

On the Armoured Corps, the army chief said it was capital intensive that would require special intervention funds which only the National Assembly could provide.

He, however, called on the committee to support the army by passing the legislation that would enhance its capability.

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