Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has urged the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, to make his people proud by reducing the level of insurgency in the country.
Citing terrorism as one of the biggest threat to the country, the governor promised to liaise with the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) to vote more money for the procurement of arms and other equipment for the military to end insurgency.
Wike spoke at the weekend when Irabor and other top military officers paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
The governor told Irabor that God in his infinite wisdom deemed it necessary for him to be in charge of the military at a time when the Minister of Defence declared that Nigeria was bleeding. He said: “You have been brought in to see how you can solve the security problems of this country. For us as a Government we have no choice but to support the security agencies, particularly, the Army now that we have terrorists’ activities in this country.”
The governor said no sane government would fold its arms when the country was grappling with unprecedented security threats orchestrated by non-state actors. He said: “I believe you will make us proud by ensuring you reduce the level of insurgency.” Wike expressed dismay over what he called the misappropriation of $1bn withdrawn from Excess Crude Account to procure arms and other equipment for the military.
He wondered how anyone would expect the armed forces to fight bandits and terrorists without requisite equipment. He said irrespective of the controversy surrounding the $1bn, he would support the NGF’s authorisation of additional money to equip the Armed Forces. The Rivers governor disclosed that the Army would soon take delivery of the five gunboats the state government promised to donate to them.
He thanked the Nigerian Army for proactively checking the activities of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and not giving any room for any terrorists attack in the state. The governor assured the CDS that the state government would continue to support the Army and other security agencies.
In his remarks Irabor commended Wike and the Government of Rivers State for supporting the Army and other security agencies. He appealed to the citizens of the state and the Niger Delta to continue to sustain the peace in the region to boost economic activities. Irabor said he was in the state to assess some of the various operational activities of the armed forces and to meet with the personnel.