By Muhammad Lawal/Birni Kebbi
The Kebbi State Government has remodelled a fleet of Toyota Land Cruisers into Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), to strengthen security agencies in the fight against banditry.
The Team leader of the fabricators and state Deputy Governor, Col. Sama’ila Yombe-Dabai (Rtd) showcased the transformed vehicles on Saturday in Birnin Kebbi, the state capital.
The vehicles were painted in the army colours.
Yombe-Dabai said that the vehicles had been reinforced with hardened steel and were suitable for battle with provisions for a driver, a gunner and space for extra troops.
He explained that the fabrication was approved and supported by Gov. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu towards providing transportation to combatants, as a major requirement in warfare, to secure the lives and property of citizens.
The team leader described Kebbi state as the pace setter in the country in such innovative technology, which, he said, served both as a cost effective measure, as well as an innovation in advancing Nigeria’s quest for technical know-how.
“One of the major requirements in security is transportation, to have the capacity to move arms and ammunitions and men to the area of combat. His Excellency, for the past three months, has been making efforts to provide transport for our security agents.
“Behind me are some of the vehicles he bought and I suggested to him, sir let us make these vehicles sophisticated militarily and make them look like the vehicles that can carry military weapons.
“We can change it from civilian outlook to military outlook. As you can see, these vehicles were bought in this condition and we carried out certain fabrications to make it look like military vehicles”, he said.
According to him, what they did was to build them to carry military hardware for the driver, for those inside and those at the back of the vehicle by putting on armoured material with the weight the vehicle could carry.
“We have a Toyota Land Cruiser behind me, one of the vehicles that we bought, and it has limited weight such that if we are to put all armoured gadgets, it would not be able to carry out combat mission, with the engine.
“So, we provided shield for the engine, the driver and soldiers at the back. At the end of the day, we painted the vehicle in a camouflage colour.
“Gentlemen, in a nutshell, that is what we have done. We have five vehicles we have done and we are going to do another set of five.
“These ones are going to be faster, because we have already set-up the template for the construction required to reassemble the vehicles”, he added.