Minister of State for Defence, Mrs Olusola Obada, has said that the Nigeria, Niger and Chad Multi-National Joint Task Force will ensure border patrol.
The minister stated this on Tuesday in Abuja while fielding questions from newsmen on what the ministry was doing to stem the Mali crisis from spreading in the region.
“ In existence, as we speak, is the multi National Joint task Force made of Nigeria, Niger and Chad to ensure that borders are safe, ‘’ the minister told the newsmen at the laying of wreath during the 2013 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration.
She said the 1 Mechanized Division in Kaduna as well as the 4 Mechanized Division in Jos would expand their scope of responsibility to assist the Custom and Immigration in border patrol to further ensure the safety of our borders.
According to the minister, the Air Force will also deplore its helicopters for area surveillance of the country’s borders.
She expressed the hope that the crisis would not escalate into war in Bamako.
“But if we see that our people are endangered, we shall evacuate them back to Nigeria safely and in good time.
“But for now, I believe that there is no urgency,’’ she added.
On the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration, she said the occasion was a solemn one as it was to show appreciation to the country’s fallen heroes.
Obada said the day was set aside to remember those who had died in wars and to appreciate those that were still living.
The minister said it was also “ to make those who are serving now to know that Nigeria will never forget them; that Nigeria will always appreciate them’’.
Col. Micah Gayya (retired), Chairman of Nigerian Legion, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the group had not been able to support widows of fallen hero due to lack finances.
Gayya said, however, that the good thing was that the minister of state “is very passionate about this and she is doing everything to ensure that the legion is able to assist the widows’’.
He said the issue of unemployment for the children of the fallen heroes was a major challenge and appealed to government organisations to assist in employing them.
Another legionnaire, Mr Mark Ameh, appealed to government to look into the issue of welfare.
“Government should try and increase our pension as this will assist us in taking care of our families, ‘’ he said