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Don't relocate Army Institute - Benue lawmakers

Written By Idoma Television on Thursday, January 14, 2016 | 11:34:00 PM

Benue House of Assembly has vehemently opposed the planned relocation of the Nigerian Army Institute of Technology and Environmental Studies (NAITES) from Makurdi to Biu in Borno or any other location.

The House has also condemned the situation where recent Chiefs of Army Staff (COAS), have tried to relocate the School to their home towns, citing the case of the former COAS, Gen. Ihejirika to move the Institute to Ovim, in Abia state and now the plan by the serving COAS, Gen. Buratal to relocate the school to Biu, in Borno state.

Ruling after a debate on a motion of Urgent Public Importance, the Speaker, Mr. Terkimbi Ikyange, said that the assembly vehemently opposed the planned relocation of the institute to Biu or any other place under any reason.

Ikyange further directed the Clerk of the House to in writing, draw the attention of the governor of the state, the Senate and House of Representatives Committee Chairmen on Nigerian Army and Defence, the Minister of Defence, as well as other prominent indigenes of the state to the plan to rob the state of such important institute in spite of its numerous contributions to the unity and corporate existence of the country.

Mr. Ikyange also said that a protest letter would be sent to the COAS requesting him to halt the planned relocation of the institute, stressing that such an idea should not be contemplated at any given time again.

The resolutions of the House was sequel to a motion moved by Mr Benjamin Nungwa (APC-Kwande West) on Thursday during plenary where he lamented that the Military High Command was making arrangements to relocate the institute which was established in the state 14 years ago to Biu, and accused two of the recent Chief of Army Staff (COAS) deliberately hatching plans of relocating the school to their home states.

He wondered why this had to be so, stressing that the present planned relocation was under the guise that the facilities in the school were inadequate such that they could not cope with the student growing population, saying a similar attempt was made to relocate the institute to Abia in 2015 by a former COAS, but it met stiff resistance by well meaning indigenes of the state.

The lawmaker stated that Benue indigenes had sacrificed both human and material resources to keep the country as one united entity through the civil war, adding that they deserved more compensation.
The motion was seconded by Mr Bem Mngutyo (APC-Tarka), stressing that the institute was established as a way of compensating Benue people for the lost of their loved ones during the two world wars and the civil wars.

In their separate contributions on the matter, Mr Ianna Jato (PDP-Katsina-Ala East), Mr Johnson Ahubi (PDP-Otukpo/Akpa) and Mr Chris Adaji (PDP-Ohimini) encouraged the COAS to increase the facilities rather than thinking of relocating the institute to another place because the cost implication of the relocation would certainly outweigh the cost of increasing the facilities.

Mr Avine Agbom (APC-Makurdi North) and Mrs Ngohemba Agaigbe (APC-Gboko East) corroborated Mngutyo, stressing that there was still enough land for expansion at the institute present location, adding that there was no need to contemplate of relocating the institute out of the state no matter the circumstances.

Mr Adam Okloho (APC-Adoka/Ogboju) said that there were a lot of Federal Government (FG) presence in Kaduna but no one had thought of relocating them to other places why Benue.
Mr Terhemba Chabo (APC-Gboko West) urged the army to refrain from bringing unnecessary cost to the FG especially now that financial resources were not easy to come by.

Mrs. Ngunan Addingi (APC-Buruku) stated that the institute had gotten accreditation of all its courses and wondered why the military was complaining of inadequate facilities, stressing that without facilities accreditation would not be possible.
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