By Suoyo Ekubo
Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Sir Siminalayi Fubara has sought the support of the Nigerian Airforce in the fight against economic sabotage, criminal damage of pipelines and theft through illegal bunkering of petroleum products.
Governor Fubara charged the Nigerian Airforce on the task when he received on courtesy visit the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Bala Abubakar at Government House in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
In a statement signed by SSA on Media to Governor Fubara Boniface Onyedi, the Governor noted the dire situation in which the national economy was immersed with Nigerians facing difficult times in their attempt to cope with the challenges and said the Nigerian Airforce cannot leave the fight against economic saboteurs to the navy or the government alone.
He sued for an effective synergy and collaboration among all the security agencies so that they can work with the State government in identifying, chasing and arresting those criminal elements on land, sea and air who sabotage the national economy and ensure that they are prosecuted.
“I want to tell you, the entire Airforce, that we are having a difficult time in this country, so try as much as you can to see what you can do, we are ready to work with you to reduce economic sabotage. Illegal bunkering is a big issue and it is something not to leave in the hands of the navy or the Army, but every body needs to work together.
“Those things we can’t see while on ground, you can access from aerial view. When we work together, I believe nothing is impossible to conquer. I appeal to you to order the commander in charge of this base to work with us because we intend to start a new fighting arrangement against illegal bunkering activities.”
Governor Fubara, in response to demands from the Chief of Air Staff, assured that the State Commissioner for Special Projects will be directed to do assessment of what is left to be done on the Runway and the two blocks of buildings as accommodations for Airforce officers.
In his speech, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Bala Abubakar said he was in the State to inspect facilities at 115 Special Operations Group and also interact with the Airforce personnel.
He commended governor Fubara for sustaining the relationship between the State government and the Airforce, prioritised issues of education and youth empowerment that will reduce security challenges.