Deploy Battalion to Taraba’s Volatile Areas, Gov Begs COAS

The Governor of Taraba State, Agbu Kefas, has requested a battalion from the Nigerian Army to secure ungoverned spaces in the state.

According to him, the support of the army was needed to dominate the swath of ungoverned land in the state to combat the security threat posed by non-state actors.

The PUNCH reported that a battalion comprised about 1,000 soldiers.

Speaking during a visit to the Army Headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday, Kefas promised to bear the cost of having a battalion in his state.

He said: “We are in critical need of security in the state. The COAS is knowledgeable about our terrain and the problems we are facing. We have a border with six states, Adamawa, Benue, Nasarawa, Gombe, Plateau, and Bauchi. Our challenge is very high. We cannot solve it without your support.

“We intend to dominate the vast ungoverned spaces in our state to ensure the safety and well-being of our citizens. To achieve this our desire, we will require a battalion. We are ready to give you our support to achieve this. We need serious support to dominate the uncovered spaces; to counter some of the threats we have.”

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, promised to deploy more combat enablers to the state.

He, however, noted that a battalion already existed in the North-East of Borno, promising the prompt commencement of a unit in the state.

Lagbaja said: “My knowledge of Taraba is deeply entrenched because I served there for eight or nine years. And I always remember Taraba because I almost got killed during the Tiv, Jukun crisis. I appreciate the governor for what he has done.

“As part of our efforts to ensure peace and stability in the state, we have activated our 16 Brigade. We appreciate your interventions to ensure our operational effectiveness in the state. We want to expand the frontier of peace in Taraba State. We will stop at nothing to ensure that.

“We will provide more combat enablers for 6 Brigade and Garrison. We will also ensure the quick take-off of the 114 Battalion such that we will have more booths on the ground to complement the non-kinetic approach of the governor.

“The battalion designated in the order of battle of the Nigerian Army in Taraba is currently established and conducting operations in Borno, but looking beyond that, we will ensure that the take-off of the rear unit of 114 Battalion in Taraba.”