Sometime in August 2009, two Nigerian returnee brothers, Johnson (an architect) and Victor (a mechanical engineer) Obasa who both served in the US military presented the prototype of the PROWLER Armoured Personnel Carrier(APC) manufactured at their privately-owned 3-hectare facility in Ijero-Ekiti, SW Nigeria. The APC which was displayed at the Eagle Square. Abuja was inspected by President Yar’Adua (of blessed memory) who was accompanied by the National Security Adviser, the Minister of Science and Technology and the Inspector General of Police.
Speaking afterwards, a pleasantly surprised and highly elated President Yar’Adua had warmly thanked the duo and PLEDGED the FG’s patronage in encouragement and with a view to supporting their growth. He looked forward to a time when they would be exporting tanks and armoured cars to Africa and beyond.
For his part, the IGP said that the Police High Command would work closely with the brothers to attain certain specified standards of protection given the increasingly sophisticated nature of violent crime in Nigeria, even as the vehicle is bullet-proof, bomb-proof and fire-proof and is equipped with surveillance equipment. The vehicle’s rear bears a close resemblance to the South African Casspir even though it nose looks different.
They also displayed a surveillance and command post vehicle( built on the chassis of a Toyota Hi-Lux). One of the manufacturers who spoke to AIT News, Victor Obasa said that the vehicle was their own contribution to the process of nation-building and that subject to the placement of concrete orders by agencies of the Federal Government, they would be able to rapidly expand the production capacity of their wholly Nigerian-owned and staffed facility.
In line with the promise made to the Obasa brothers, the Federal Government of Nigeria in November/December 2009 placed orders for 40 units of the Prowler as a way of encouraging the well-intentioned brothers. The units for which orders were placed are expected to serve with the Nigeria Police Force
(with additional reports from AIT and NTA News)