The Nigerian Army, 32 Artillery Brigade, Owena Barracks, Akure, Ondo State, has deployed the use of drones as part of security measures put in place against kidnapping and other criminal activities in Ondo and Ekiti states.
Speaking during the launch of the new technology at Osi Community in Akure North Local Government area of the state, the Brigade Commander, Brig. General Zakari Logun Abubakar, said the introduction of the technology was part of measures to stem down the rising insecurity in the state and country.
Abubakar said the drone would help in combing and identifying hideouts and movements of criminals who have turned the vast forest in the state to their abode to perpetrate their criminal activities.
According to the Brigade Commander, the drone, Phantom 5DGI which is the latest technology in aerial surveillance, can cover up to seven kilometres radius with capabilities to record and transmit back to base.
Abubakar who frowned over the high rate of kidnapping across the country, disclosed that another drone would be manned within the airspace of Ekiti State to monitor the activities of the kidnappers and flush them out of the two states, adding that the days of kidnappers are over in the two states.
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 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. In some places, you cannot penetrate them easily.
“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-kidnapping 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 any issue of kidnapping, they will immediately launch it particularly in places that cannot be easily accessed.
“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 resolutions 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 study them so our men can move in. I can tell you that bandits’ days are over in this state.”
“You could recall that there were cases of kidnapping in this Osi in recent time, and that is why I decided to come and launch the drone here in Osi.
“We have recorded some of the terrain here in Osi and when we get back to the office we will download it to study the place very well before the anti-kidnapping squad will now move to the area.
“All the boundary links to Ondo State will now be monitored and tracked with this drone. I repeat that he days of kidnappers in Ondo and Ekiti states are numbered,” he said.