Tackling Insecurity In Kogi Through Collaborative Efforts | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Tackling Insecurity In Kogi Through Collaborative Efforts

Posted: Jul 9, 2016 at 3:51 am   /   by   /   comments (0)



Kogi State, known to be peaceful, has suddenly gained notoriety as a hotbed for kidnapping, armed robbery and herdsmen attacks. Some of the high profile kidnap cases witnessed in the state involved, judges, politicians, government officials, clergymen, and foreigners.

The state is also not free from cases of mindless killings. For instance the people of Egume in Dekina Local Government area are yet to know why Mr. Isa Edime, former director, Federal Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) was gruesomely murdered in his Egume home some months ago. The degenerating security situation especially in Kogi East drew the attention of the Ufedo Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and other groups who some months ago appealed to the government to take urgent action to address the situation.

Engr. Abdul Audu, national president of the foundation, in a press statement,  expressed dissatisfaction with government’s lukewarm attitude toward resolving the problem.

He said, “Ufedo Foundation on behalf of Igala sons and daughters condemns the impunity, surge in violence and brazen display of military weapons that is now reigning in Igala land.

“The phenomenal level of blindness being feigned in what seems like a conspiracy of silence by Government at all levels is also condemnable.”

But the state government and security agents have indicated interest in tackling the situation headlong. Last Wednesday, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi State, promised to give tough time for kidnappers and other criminal elements in the state. The governor who made the declaration in Okene, after this year Eid el-Fitri prayers to mark the end of the Ramadan fast, said the security agents had been fully mobilised to deal with escalating wave of violence in the state.

The governor, who noted that the situation was now a lot better than when he took over in January this year, maintained that criminals will no longer have any hiding place in the state. He assured the people that his government will not renege on its promises to transform the state and make it a better place to live.

He solicited the co-operation of the people in the effort to rid the state of social miscreants whose activities has made lives unbearable for the people.

The growing insecurity situation in Kogi State has also received national attention when last week, Ibrahim Idris, the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), ordered the immediate deployment of a Special Strike Force to Kogi State to combat the spate of kidnapping and other crimes within the state and environs.

Similarly, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, Chief of Army Staff, , last month announced the deployment of a special military squad in the state to tackle the menace. According to him, the Federal Government is worried over the increase in kidnapping and other related crimes.

The Army chief was in the state with some of his men on a working visit to the military formation to see the challenges facing them and proffer a solution. This he said would  enable  them to carry on with their constitutional responsibility of ensuring internal security. He commended Governor Bello for providing logistics and other necessary support to security agencies in the state and promised that a special squad of military personnel would be in the state  to curb the activities of kidnappers.

The strategy to combat kidnapping and criminal activities in Kogi State started when  Mr. Solomon Arase, former Inspector General  of Police  deployed an helicopter, 35 Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squads and four detachments of Mobile Police men to  the state  to flush out kidnappers and robbers operating in the state  few days before he bowed out  of service.  While presenting the helicopter and the Special Squad to the governor at Lugard House, Lokoja, Mr. Usman Yakubu, Kogi State Commissioner of Police,  said, “On behalf of the state governor, my office approached the Inspector General of Police, IG Solomon Arase of the need to beef up the security following frequent kidnapping of people in the state.

“The IG graciously approved my request and gave directive that one helicopter should be stationed in Lokoja, the state capital for urgent security operation.

“Since the arrival of the team, it had arrested some suspected kidnappers from their camps in the state adding that the team would continue to bombard hideouts until the state was free from the criminals’ claw. With this helicopter, we can easily track down either kidnappers or robbers operating in the state.”

Assessing the recent effort of the government, Engr. Audu, commended the Inspector General of Police, Chief of Army Staff and the governor of Kogi State for the new approach in combating crime in the state. He said, “We commend security agents and Governor Yahaya Bello in their commitment towards addressing the menace of kidnapping and other criminalities in the state.”

However, Audu appealed to security agents not to relent in their effort so that the people of the state would be freed the activities of kidnappers who have held the people of the state in the jugular for a long time now. While assessing the performance of the deployment of the squad so far in the state, Audu said the incidence of kidnapping is reducing. “Just today, we heard that three out of five suspected kidnappers were nabbed at a community in Ankpa Local Government Area of the state.”   There is hope that with collaborative effort of security agents and the state government, the situation would be brought under control.