…..as he promises gunboats
Rivers State Governor has challenged the Nigerian government to strengthen the combat capacity of the Nigerian Army and make it the strongest army in Africa.
The governor gave the charge while delivering a keynote address at the Nigerian Army Combat Support Arms Training Week 2021 christened COSAT WEEK 2021, in Port Harcourt, on Tuesday.
He spoke on the theme, “Building capacity of the combat support arms towards optimising the utilisation of indigenous technology in support of Nigerian Army operations.”
He said there should be increased commitment to defence with robust security budgetary allocation to support strategic initiatives in developing indigenous defence technology.
“All over the world, countries are rapidly modernizing their armies, increasing their weapon systems lethality and strengthening the efficiency and combat readiness in response to the increasingly changing nature of the modern times’ battlefields.
“Nigeria cannot be different if we are interested in having a military force that can easily deter external aggression, meet our international and regional military objectives as well as defeat internal insurrections and existential threats to national security.
“Our national strategic goal in this regard therefore, should be, to create and have an entirely self-reliant defence industrial sector that is driven substantially by local technological inputs that meet the needs for assembling modern military weaponry, equipment, including missiles and other combat capabilities.
“Nothing should therefore be spared by the federal government to build the most modern and strongest army in Africa and restore our country and the black race to the position of strength, pride, and prosperity.”
According to Governor Wike, aside from the challenges of the political crisis of the first republic, the 30-months needless civil war that would have made Nigeria relics of history, Boko Haram has remained a huge threat over a decade now.
“Unfortunately, Nigeria is among the countries that are currently lagging behind advancements in science, technology, and innovation.”
But he said Rivers State Government would always be available to render whatever support it can give to advance the professional capability of the armed forces to perform its external and internal constitutional duties, both within and outside Rivers State.
He said, “As a matter of fact, the 11 new armoured-plated gun boats we recently committed to procuring for the army and navy formations in the State are underway. We will soon invite the Chiefs of Army and Naval Staff to come over and take physical possession of these boats as part of our contributions to strengthen their offensive and defensive operations capabilities on our waterways.”
Declaring the COSAT WEEK 2021 open, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Farouk Yahaya said the training week is an avenue for participants to brainstorm and re-strategise towards providing effective support to all operations of the Nigerian Army.
According to him, one of the key enablers to the recorded success in their operations is the undaunted support of the Combat Support Arms in providing effective counter-insurgent operations in the North East as well as other operations across the country.
“I am glad to observe the significant progress made by the Combat Support Arms in patronising local vendors. A case in point is the domestication of production of some of our equipment currently deployed for operational use.
“This, alongside other innovations and inventions, has further enhanced the Nigerian Army’s capacity and capability at defeating the adversary.”
The Corps Commander Signal, Major General Abiodun Owolabi expressed optimism that the 2021 Combat Support Arms Training Week will contribute significantly to achieving the Chief of Army Staff’s vision of building a professional Army that is ready to accomplish assigned missions within a joint environment in the defence of Nigeria.
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