By Timothy Ekpo
The Air Force War College, Nigeria, Makurdi, has lauded the Akwa Ibom Government for the huge spate of industrialisation and efforts to promote security in the state.
The director of studies at the college, Air Commodore Adebayo Kehinde, made the remark when he led members and participants of Course 8, 2022, on a courtesy call on Governor Udom Emmanuel at Government House, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Addressing the governor who was represented by the deputy governor, Mr Moses Ekpo, Kehinde who doubled as the team leader, said the delegation from the college, Makurdi, Benue State, comprised of civilian, army, navy and air force officers who had undertaken a study on security to Akwa Ibom.
He explained that as the director of study at the college, he was very particular about Akwa Ibom on the fact that previous administrations and the present, led by Governor Udom Emmanuel, had invested so much on the industrial and security development of the state.
He noted that in the last seven years, the present administration has made determined efforts to set up some industries perhaps on the facts that as an oil producing state, the percentage of oil derivation fund had deliberately made the government to go beyond the expected standard of development.
The team leader noted that the availability of those industries has made the youths to be gainfully employed with the effect promoting the security situation in the state. He stated that they were in the state to see whether the security situation has been stabilized to enhance industrialisation, bearing in mind that without security, development could not thrive.
He said the college was conscious of the fact that it has always been reactive in tackling security situation, but now the institution has decided to be proactive in its approach to insecurity situations in the country. Adebayo said the college was now thinking ahead of what the security situation would be like in the state in the next five years in view of the trend and indices available now.
Air Commodore Adebayo pointed out that before now, there were prevalence of armed robbery incidences that could broke into houses and steal but now with the cashless policy, cash stealing was no longer lucrative even as kidnapping was now in vogue due to proliferation of light weapons and small arms.
He told the governor that in few years time, this trend may no longer be, except for other challenges, adding that the underlying factor would be the emerging security challenge would have direct influence on development and industrialisation.
Adebayo summed that the college was looking at the trend to be able to predict and take proactive measures of checkmating such incidences. He said the conference in the state would focus on interrogating the security issues, having been to the 2 Brigade Headquarters and the Department of State Security Service (DSS), and would visit two or more state government establishments and after the meeting, would come up with a report that would benefit the college and the state.
Responding, the governor said the state hoped to gain from the study which he noted was a continued effort to look at the problem that would set the entire country on the path of handling security issues.
Governor Emmanuel explained that Akwa Ibom was where to go and to be as it has provided good ambience to promote security, thus making it a rallying point where serious matters of the country could be discussed.
The governor who had in attendance several members of the State Executive Council and other relevant government officials, said if Akwa Ibom had made any meaningful progress interms of security, it was due to collaborative efforts of government and available security agencies working to enhance the peace.
He said the peaceful environment in the state which the traditional institutions have played a key role also has made it conducive for any investment stressing that the progess made so far in the state for the past 34 years was made possible as each administration had to build on the foundation set by previous ones.
The governor maintained that in the last seven years, development has been phenomenal as he was committed to changing the story of the state and applauded the security agencies for supporting his vision, especially as it has to do with enabling peace.
Governor Emmanuel said it was his hope that the study tourbe beneficial not only to the college, but to Akwa Ibom as they could also advise government based on what the college would observe in the course of the tour so that at the time he would leave office in 2023, his administration would be proud of what it would have achieved.