By Niyi Olutunde, Akure
Worried by the spate of kidnappings in Ondo and Ekiti states, the Nigeria Army, 32 Artillery Brigade, Owena Barracks, Akure has deployed the use of technology in tackling criminality.
Launching a drone that will help comb the vast forests in the state towards identifying movements and activities of suspected criminals, the Brigade Commander, Brig-Gen Zakari Abubakar stated that the device will help survey targeted areas.
According to Brig-Gen Abubakar, the drone, Phantom 5DGI which is the latest technology in aerial surveillance, can cover up to seven kilometres radius with capabilities at recording and transmitting report back to base.
The Brigade Commander, who alongside his men launched the gadget at Osi Community in Akure North Local Government area of the state, disclosed that another drone will be manned within the airspace of Ekiti State.
It would be recalled that in the last two weeks, Osi community has been prone to attacks by suspected armed Fulani herdsmen.
The Army General, in charge of Ondo and Ekiti States, had last week launched the anti-kidnapping squad, decrying the worrisome cases of kidnapping as he emphasized that the days of kidnappers are over in the state.
Abubakar said, “In recent times, the cases of kidnappings increased in Ondo and Ekiti States and the General Officer Commanding, GOC, 2 Division, General O.F Azinta directed that we must do everything possible to bring the criminality in both states to an end.
“There are thick forests in these states and that’s the advantage some of the criminals are using. Some places you cannot penetrate them easily and that is why I decided to come and launch the drone here in Osi forest.
“So in line with the Chief of Army Staff directive to have a responsive Nigeria Army in the discharge of its constitutional role, we decided to use technology in addition to the anti kidnap squad. We have two of this drone, one for Ondo and the other one for Ekiti State.
“The two anti-kidnapping squads will have each one mounted on a vehicle. Once there is issue of kidnapping they will immediately launch it, particularly in places that cannot be easily access.
“The device is the latest in the market, we decided to go for it with the support of my GOC. It can go on its own and it can avoid all obstacles. The resolution is one of the highest resolution and it can go up to seven kilometers radius.
“With its launching at Osi, we have been able to map out the vast forests and studied it, so our men can move in. I can tell you that bandits days are over in this state.”
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