73 Battalion: Ganduje, Kwankwaso’s Rift May Cause Violence in 2019 Elections

Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Gabriel Olanisakin

Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano

The 73 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Janguza Barracks in Kano has raised the alarm that the rift between the incumbent Governor of the state, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso may cause violence during the 2019 elections and expressed its readiness to respond to disasters.

The Commanding Officer of the Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Isidore Ominaso Amah, stated this on Wednesday when the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olanisakin, visited the battalion to assess its readiness in disaster management.

Speaking on the forthcoming 2019 general elections, the commanding officer also revealed that “as the 2019 general elections is fast approaching, it may likely witness destruction of lives and property that may force some civilians to take refuge in Janguza Barracks’’.

According to him, this concern is because of the heated political debate atmosphere occasioned by Ganduje and Kwankwaso’s rift. He assured that the 73 Battalion have a prominent role to play, adding that it has mapped out plans of evacuation, reception and protection of displaced persons who usually thronged to barrack during crisis.

According to him, the 73 Battalion remains poised for active participation in disaster management, adding that the battalion covers Jigawa State and 14 local government areas of Kano State.

Amah pointed out that “the battalion in conjunction with the police, is working closely towards achieving effective control of disaster.’’

He said his battalion had mapped out modern strategic plans of managing disaster, despite the challenges they were facing and also reiterated the commitment of his battalion in prompt response to disasters whenever the need arises.

Speaking also, the Director General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Mustapha Maihaja, re-affirmed the commitment of his agency in ensuring the establishment of functional disaster rescue units aimed at effecting a prompt response to disaster management nationwide.

Maihaja who was represented by the Director Research and rescue of the agency, Air Commodore Akugbe Iyamil, said the purpose of the visit was to assess the readiness of the battalion in responding to emergency and disaster management.

He noted that NEMA had mapped out a coherent strategic plan on how to manage disasters in all parts of the country and also commended the efforts of the 73 battalion of the Nigerian army in putting befitting plans of how to manage disasters in their units.

In his remarks, the chief of defence staff, represented by Major General Habila Vintenba, said all necessary measures have been put in place in ensuring harmonious working relationships between all security agencies in the state and the country at large.