The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Thursday operationalised the newly established 17 Brigade, Nigerian Army, located in Katsina State, to address security challenges in the state and the North-West Zone.
Other army formations in the state are the 35 Battalion in Katsina and a Forward Operation Base in Daura, while another battalion would soon be set up at Malumfashi and Funtua, respectively.
Buratai said the establishment and operationalisation of the brigade was part of the robust response to the numerous security challenges in the country.
Earlier when Buratai visited Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State, he said the brigade was set up after a threat analysis of the state and the entire North-West zone.
He said: “It is necessary to establish a higher formation. We have a battalion but the need to establish the 17 Brigade was as a result of threat analysis across the country.”
He said the Army Council gave the approval for it under the 2016 “Order of Battle”.
Masari said the establishment of the formation was strategic in view of the numerous security challenges the nation was grappling with.
He said in particular, the state was faced with the challenges of cattle rustling, armed robbery and armed banditry, as well as cross border crimes.
The governor also noted that nine local government areas in the state share boundary with the Kamuku forest, where a lot of criminal activities take place.
According to him, the forest covers Kaduna, Niger and a few other states in the North-West.
Masari said: “The challenges of cattle rustling, armed robbery and armed banditry still remain.
“The situation is very, very precarious in this part of the country because criminal elements move in from the North-East and neighbouring countries.
“We share common border with Niger Republic; it is a vast and porous border.”
Masari added that this made it easy for criminal elements to move in, as well as small arms and he promised to support the army and other security agencies in the state in the efforts to rid it of criminality.