The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) says it is very impressed with the quality of military involvement in disaster managements and support of victims.
NEMA’s Director General, Alhaji Mustapha Maihaja, while assessing facilities at the Disaster Response Unit of the 119 Operation Base of the Nigeria Airforce, Sokoto on Friday, promised that the agency would continue to support such efforts.
Represented by Air Commodore Akigbe Iyamu, Director in charge of Disaster and Response, Maihaja said that NEMA would continue to partner with the military’s disaster response section to ease disaster management.
He stressed the need for collaborative efforts on disaster management among all tiers of government, noting that
NEMA, which was supposed to focus on disasters with high magnitude, had been compelled to look into lesser incidents.
He said that the visit was to assess military formations’ readiness to respond to disasters with a view to look into ways to assist them.
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Abayomi Olanisakin, in a remark, expressed the military’s readiness to partner with NEMA and other security agencies to maintain peace before, during and after the 2019 general elections.
Olanisakin, who was represented by Gen. Habila Vintenaba, Director, Psychological Warfare, at the Defence Headquarters, said that the visit was to assess the readiness of the established disaster response point in the base.
“We want to assess the unit’s readiness for prompt response to emergency situations,” he said.
He said that military collaboration with NEMA would provide timely response to all forms of disasters and its management with desired professionalism in line with global practice.
The CDS, however, advised politicians to desist from actions that would put national security in jeopardy, urging them to embrace dialogue toward resolving their differences.
“Politicians must constantly educate their supporters on the need to ensure peace at all times,” he said.
Earlier, Group Capt. Jibrin Usman, the Brigade Commander, had informed his guests that the base had recorded disasters such as flood, fire and thunderstorm in Sokoto and Kebbi States.
He also said that his men had helped in evacuating some of the victims and provided security in places razed down by fire to avert looting by hoodlums.
Usman identified major challenges to inadequate equipment and manpower training.