The Nigerian Army yesterday commissioned its new 17 Brigade in Katsina as part of strategies aimed at strengthening the Army to solve the security challenges bedeviling the border state.
Katsina state borders Maradi region in Niger Republic.
Speaking at the event, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said the new Brigade would curtail trans-border crimes occasioned by the porous border between Nigeria and Niger Republic.
Buratai said the establishment of the new army unit was among other deliberate actions, under the Order of Battle (ORBAT) 2016, by the federal government to expand the Nigerian Army in solving problem of insecurity in the country.
According to him, current security challenges needs a robust response to tackle them; hence the establishment of new Division and Brigades, after several threats analysis.
The army chief said the 8 Division, under which the new 17 Brigade would operate, would be relocated to Sokoto after it had completed its assignment in Monguno, in Northern Borno state, where its troops “are currently fighting the Boko Haram terrorists.”
In his remarks, Governor Aminu Bello Masari, said the state “is also bedeviled by activities of armed robbers, kidnappers and armed bandits who hide in various forests around the state.”
He said: “Our security challenges are surmountable, because they created by human beings. Being a border state, we are faced with trans-border. We have nine local government areas that border Kamuku forest and other forests. These are where the criminal are hiding. Being a border state also, there is infiltration of armed bandits from Niger Republic, as well as arms.
“And with the presence of military operations in Kaduna, and Zamfara states, the criminals are moving to Katsina state. We urge the Nigerian Army to block these criminals and ensure that our state is safe.”
While assuring that the state government would continue to support the Nigerian Army and other security agencies to ensure adequate security in the state, he urge for cooperation with the traditional institution in order to get intelligent information that would ease their jobs.