Maj. Gen. Bitrus Kwaji (L), presenting the New Vehicle Stopper to the members of the public
By Senator Iroegbu
The Nigerian Army has unveiled the new anti-bombing device, which it locally manufactured as part of its efforts at tackling the internal security challenges confronting the nation, especially terrorist attacks by the Boko Haram Islamic Sect.
This new device was Thursday presented to the members of the public and distributed through the representatives of Christian and Muslim faiths at Army Headquarters, Abuja by the Chief of Civil-Military Relations, Maj-Gen. Bitrus Kwaji.
Kwaji said that the successful innovation of the anti-bombing device called ‘Vehicle Stopper’ is a by-product of the vision of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, who charged all corps and services of the Nigerian Army to provide ways and means of curtailing the security menace in the country.
He reminded that this latest feat is coming barely weeks after the commissioning of an indigenous Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) by President Goodluck Jonathan during the 2012 Army Day Celebration in Kaduna State.
He said: "The unfolding security challenges confronting the nation amongst which is the Boko Haram terrorist menace have continued to hinder the progress of the transformation agenda of Mr President as well as the development of the nation at large.
"The terrorists over the years have continued to attack places of worship (churches and mosques) in order to destabilise the nation. This has necessitated the COAS to charge all corps and services of the Nigerian Army to provide ways and means of curtailing this menace.
"This has yielded a lot of responses as we witnessed the commissioning of an indigenous APC by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces during the recently concluded Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL) in Kaduna State," he noted.
Kwaji further stated: "In both large and small measures, personnel of the Nigerian Army have taken the COAS charge to heart looking at various ways and means of curtailing insecurity.
"Today we are gathered here to introduce to you a Vehicle Stopper. A device so unique that it can stop any vehicle that comes in contact with it from any direction or angle. Though, this invention is simple the effect is great," he announced.
The Chief of Civil-Military Relations noted that this invention has become necessary since the terrorists mainly used vehicles loaded with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
"It has been discovered that most attacks by suicide bombers are being carried out with vehicles loaded with IEDs. The mode of operation is simple as a suicide bomber drives straight into his target and explosion occurs," he explained.
He emphasised that as part of the Nigerian Army's Corporate Social responsibility, some of the equipment are being distributed to some churches and mosques who could in turn decide to make more, since the technology is very simple to understand.
The Head of the Engineering Team that produced the latest device and as well Director of Policy, Nigerian Army, Maj-Gen Richard Chioba explained that the equipment will help reduce car bombings.
Chioba, who also led the Engineering Team that manufactured the first indigenous APC, assured that the innovation will help forestall and immobilise vehicles used for suicide bombings, especially at worship centres.
He said: "In order to disallow bombers from reaching their targets, this invention comes in handy as it forcefully stops any vehicle that comes in contact with it at whatever speed."
Meanwhile the religious leaders including the Deputy Secretary, National Mosque, Mallam Ibrahim Jega and representative of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Canon John Paul collected the new device on behalf of Muslims and Christians respectively.
They both commended the efforts of the Nigerian Army towards taming the state of insecurity in the country.