Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Nigerian Army on Tuesday donated two vehicles to the National Parks Service (NPS) to boost the security patrols of parks, reserve areas and forests across the country.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, while presenting the patrol vehicles, said it would go a long way to rid the forests of criminals who have turned them into safe havens from which to launch terror attacks on innocent Nigerians.
Represented by Major General Okudili Azinta at the occasion, Buratai, said the menace of banditry, armed robbery and kidnapping would soon be a thing of the past as the vehicles would enable park rangers intensify patrols.
The army chief, while assuring the NPS of its continuous support and cooperation to stamp out bandits and other criminal groups in the country, promised to develop the capacity of the park rangers to enable them discharge their duties effectively.
Receiving the vehicles for his organisation, the NPS Conservator General Ibrahim Goni, who commended the Army for the donations, called on State Governors, government agencies as well as the paramilitary to support the Service in protecting the country’s parks, reserve areas and forests in order for tourism to thrive.
He said the vehicles would be used strictly for patrols to enhance the capacity of park rangers towards effective protection and to improve the level of security in the countryside.
“I wish to express our profound gratitude to the COAS Buratai for the donation of two brand new vehicle to the service,” Goni said.
“This gesture is a demonstration of the NA’s commitment to partner with the NPS to tackle the current security challenges associated with forest protected areas in Nigeria.
“Its is our fervent prayer that this partnership will be sustained and taken to higher levels in order to promote collective efforts towards making Nigeria safe by implementing the resolutions reached during the seminar.
The Conservator General went on to call “on other security agencies – the NAF, NPF, NN and other paramilitary agencies – to key into this gesture by coming to the aid of NPS and the State Governors where these forests are located, so that our national parks can be secured for tourism to thrive in this country.”