Defence Chief Underscores Strategic Importance Of Roads Infrastructure In Fight Against Banditry

... Commends Efforts Of Works Minister In Returning Nigeria Road Infrastructure To The Part Of Glory

The Honourable Minister of Works, Engr. David Umahi has been assured of the full backing of the Nigerian military in his efforts towards realizing the lofty road infrastructure objectives of the Renewed Hope administration of President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

This assurance was conveyed by the Chief of Defence Staff,General Christopher Gwabin Musa, during a courtesy call to the Honourable Minister of Works, held at the Ministry's conference hall, Mabushi-Abuja on 16th April 2024. 

Speaking during the courtesy call, the Defence Chief commended the glaring determination of the Honourable Minister of Works to return Nigeria's road infrastructure to the part of glory knowing the importance of road to the socio-economic transformation of the nation. He placed on record the strategic importance of road to national security and its place in achieving successful military operations against acts of banditry. 

He said, "We are following your activities on the internet, and we know you're almost everywhere. I want to commend you for the efforts you are putting in. We know how determined you are to ensure that our roads are back. We all know that without roads, there can be no peace. That's true for rural areas and urban areas. Roads are significant and very important to the growth of any nation. Despite all the challenges, we’ve seen how comments have been made, both professionally and unprofessionally, to your person, but you’ve been strong. I want to encourage you, sir, that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is solidly behind you. We will continue to provide every necessary support that you require. We are just a phone call away. Whatever there is, that you would want us to do for you, be rest assured, we will be there, because we know the relevance and importance of having good roads in any society."

The Chief of Defence Staff also appealed to the Honourable Minister to take into consideration the need for interventions on the deplorable condition of some roads in the North East where bandits are taking advantage of the poor conditions of roads in the area to defy and relegate security operations. He noted that the areas where the military were recording high casualties of both manpower and equipment, especially in Maiduguri, were the areas the bandits use Improvised  Explosive  Devices ( IEDs) in their attacks knowing fully well the deplorable conditions of the roads in those areas. He said, "So for us, roads are critical to our success in our operations. I want to appeal to you, whatever it is, whatever it takes, if we can fix most of these roads that we have, it will greatly assist us in carrying out our operations. Once we have good roads, the funny thing about North East, especially Borno State, will be  resolutely  tackled. Most of the distances are not that long."

In his response, the Honourable Minister of Works thanked the Defence Chief for the wonderful work the Armed Forces are  doing to rejig the security architecture and rid the nation of banditry. He particularly thanked Mr. President who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces for the successes he has  recorded in the fight against banditry in Nigeria. He said that the military deserves the cooperation, support, and solidarity of all Nigerians in their efforts and sacrifices to secure the citizenry. He decried the recent brutal killing of the military personnel in Okuama Delta State and thanked the military for their sense of maturity in the face of the needless provocation. "Let me offer my deepest condolences to you for your personnel that were brutally murdered at  Okuama in Delta State while doing everything to ensure peace and security in the area. It's quite very unfortunate. Let me thank Mr. President for the maturity and thank the military led by you for the maturity. Those personnel who were killed are children of parents. They have children, and they have wives. Our hearts go out to you  and their families, and we condemn that very terrible and barbaric act. We caution those who are making very unhealthy statements on the matter, as if the lives that were lost were the lives of animals"

The Honourable Minister assured the Defence Chief of the preparedness of the Ministry in addressing the concerns of the military on the conditions of roads, especially in the areas of their operations in the North East. He said, "Let me appreciate your concerns over our roads, especially as it affects your programmes in  North East. And let me assure you that when we get those routes and your major concerns, we are going to analyze them  to know the ongoing projects among them, and then know why the projects are  slow in their execution. It could be for the reason of funding. Everything has become a priority in our road sector development. We would like to analyze it and together we will take it to Mr. President, who has put the security of life and property ahead of any other thing." He further said, "I'm very sure that Mr. President, as usual, will give it the desired attention. It's not his will that any person will die for the reason of a bad road. So I'm reassured by the character and the content of Mr. President that something will be done. We have to get our designs and figures right, and together, we can do that."

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