By Jethro Ibileke
No fewer than 20 special security personnel trained to secure airports have been deployed to the Benin City Airport, Edo State.
Air Commodore Rasheed Abidoye, the Commander of the Nigerian Air Force 107 Air Maritime Group disclosed this on Friday during a courtesy visit to Governor Godwin Obaseki.
Commending Obaseki for the good relationship between the State Government and the Air Force, Abidoye disclosed that the personnel will arrive in Benin this weekend.
This is even as he expressed the readiness of his personnel to actively contribute to ensuring a peaceful environment.
“We are providing security at the Airport and have deployed 20 special security personnel trained on Airport security; we are receiving them this weekend to beef up the security at the Airport.
“We are also working on improving security at the Airport environment and providing helicopters for security surveillance
“I want to assure you that we are actively participating in the ongoing operation “WABAIZIGAN” as we continue to contribute our quota in ensuring a peaceful environment.”
Earlier, Governor Obaseki had solicited for increased partnership between the government, the military and other security agencies in the State, to rid Edo forests of kidnappers and other criminal elements.
Obaseki said “We are relying on you to give us air cover particularly around forest areas, especially Okomu Forest, as we face serious challenges with illegal logging and drugs cultivation in that forest.
“It is easy for criminal elements to get away through the waterways using that part towards Ondo State. Your operations will also help us to identify the kidnappers’ base in the forest zone. We will be glad to sit with you monthly on those ungoverned spaces of the forest.”
He continued: “We are glad to have you as the Air Force Commander at this base; your predecessor has been very supportive and contributed largely to the peace and security that we enjoy in the state today.
“We have made more progress following the support obtained from security agencies. Also, the quality of your collaboration has helped us unravel issues relating to security in the state.
“Furthermore we want to localise security in the state because security is local. This will enable us to have enough men on the ground to provide the intelligence needed to secure the state.”
“We rely on you to give these people air cover particularly at the forest areas as we have challenges in these areas particularly illegal wood loggers, cultivation of drugs, as well as kidnappers using the forest as a base,” the governor added.