The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Taoreed Lagbaja has assured that the Army would strengthen security efforts in a few dark areas in Enugu State, such as Isi-Uzo Local Government Area.
He commended the government and people of the state for being good partners in the fight against insecurity.
Lagbaja said the desire and effort of the Government of Enugu State aligned with the goal of the Army to expand the frontiers of peace and stability for law-abiding citizens to thrive and thanked the governor and good people of Enugu State for the support provided to the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, the Garrison, 103 Battalion and other deployments across Enugu State.
Lagbaja, who was accompanied by the Army high command, gave the assurances during a working visit to the Government House, Enugu, on Tuesday, as part of his effort to assess operational situations under the jurisdiction of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army.
He said: “Following my assumption of office as the Chief of Army Staff on the 23rd of June last year, I have taken time out to visit the formations and units of the Nigerian Army to assess the deployment of our troops across the country in a bid to address some challenges confronting the troops in order to improve their operational effectiveness.
“I have been rest assured of the support of the governor of Enugu State as well as the other governors in the South East to the efforts of our troops to create a stable, peaceful, and enabling environment for the economy of the South East to thrive.
“The desire of the Nigerian Army aligns perfectly with that of the government and the good people of Enugu State, and that is to rid our society of criminal elements and to ensure that peace and stability prevail for law-abiding citizens going about their lawful businesses.
“I have taken note of the brief of the GOC, 82 Division, and even my private chat with His Excellency, Dr. Peter Mbah, the governor. The Army Headquarters will address all issues raised, including having boots on the ground in Isi-Uzo with the desire to rid the area of criminal elements and to ensure that economic activities thrive in that area.
“The army headquarters will take steps to address some dark areas that have been pointed out in a bid to expand the frontiers of our peace and stability in this state.
“I also want to pledge continuous support of the formations and other units of the Nigerian Army to the effort of the Enugu State Government to ensure that peace reigns in the state.
“The Nigerian Army will continue to remain a loyal and worthy partner to you towards realising your wonderful plans for the people of Enugu State.”
Speaking, Governor Mbah said his administration was on course to fulfil the promises it made to the people of Enugu State because the Army had been very supportive of his government’s efforts to stamp out every trace of insecurity in the state.
“We executed a social pact with the people of Enugu State. We promised them that we envisioned an Enugu State that would be one of the top three states in the country in terms of gross domestic product, GDP and that we were going to grow our economy from $4.4 billion to $30 billion.
“We also said to them that we were on a mission to make Enugu State the premier destination for investment, business, tourism, and living.
“We recognise that this growth will not come from the public sector. It would all come from the private sector, and the private sector investment does not agree with insecurity, which is why we spared no time in declaring war on insecurity.
“I must also, at this point, recognise and acknowledge the tireless efforts and commitment you and your men have invested in securing Enugu State.
“Today in Enugu State, we can proudly say that we are on the path of fulfilling those promises we made to our people.
“We also want to assure you on our part as a government that we are going to continue to provide the necessary support to sustain and indeed improve the state of security in Enugu State.
“We have also made a lot of commitments in investing in our people because we recognise and understand that a number of these challenges may also require some non-kinetic approaches,” Mbah said.