In his bid to fish out criminal elements and their collaborators to stamp out insecurity in the state, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has sought for greater synergy between government and security agencies
The Governor made the call in his opening remarks at the State Security Council meeting held at the New Banquet Hall of the Benue Peoples House Makurdi on Monday.
In his words,
“I appreciate the security agencies, the police, the army, the Civil Defence and the Department of Security Services, DSS. They have given us backing to apprehend those who trespass on the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law. They have been doing very well.
“But I seek for greater synergy among the security agencies and support to fish out some of those criminal elements that are creating problem.
He said that reports reaching him indicated that some persons have been collecting money from herdsmen and “supposedly giving them permission to come and graze even right in Makurdi town. I don’t understand. So I seek for greater synergy that we have to work together to respect the law.”
According to him, “we must work together as a Government to surmount this challenge. No body should be spared.
“If individuals, those in government, traditional rulers and security agents are found to be complicit to the challenge that we have today with herdsmen we must work together to expose them. It will serve as deterrence to others,”
On the crisis in Ikpayongo, in Gwer East local government area, a settlement on the outskirts of Makurdi the state capital, the governor lamented how the people have refused to stick to the peace agreement they had earlier signed.
He said even after the state government had initiated “several meetings to resolve the matter, as I talk to you, there are still issues, burning of houses, killings and destructions. It is something we all have to address here today,” the Governor stated.
The Governor was also furious with the upsurge in the vandalisation of railway tracks by criminals in the state who he alleged to sometimes get cover from some unscrupulous elements in the security agencies.
He then charged the security council members to get to the root of the issues outlined for discussion for improved security in the state.
Governor Ortom commended the security agencies for their unrelenting efforts that had led to relative peace in the state and encouraged them to sustain the tempo in order the ensure a more secured state.
Clamour for State Police gains traction at security conference
***As Arase recommends citizens’ engagement
***Wike expresses confidence that efforts against insecurity in FCT is yielding results
The chairman Police Service commission Dr. Solomon Arase on Thursday recommended citizens’ engagement in the fight against criminality through a multi-faceted approach that involves building trust, empowering citizens and fostering a sense of shared responsibility for public safety.
Arase’s recommendation was made in a paper titled: “Strenghtening Security: Engaging Citizens in Nigeria’s fight against crime and criminality” which he presented at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ)/New Star Newspaper organised National Security Comference on Thursday, at the NAF Conference Center, Abuja
proffered a lasting solution to the heightened security challenges in the country that has almost defied all possible solution,
“By implementing initiatives such as community policing forums, crime reporting apps, and neighborhood watch programs, communities can work together with law enforcement to prevent crime and create safer, more vibrant neighborhoods.
There are several initiatives that can be implemented to engage the citizenry in crime fighting, including Community Policing Fora therough Establishment of community policing fora where citizens can meet with law enforcement officials to discuss crime trends, share information, and collaborate on crime prevention strategies.
Accoeding to him, the fora can help build trust and cooperation between the community and law enforcement and empower citizens to take an active role in crime prevention.
Another initiatives Crime Reporting Apps is in developing mobile applications that allow citizens to report crimes anonymously and securely. “These apps can provide a platform for citizens to share information about suspicious activities, crimes, and other concerns with law enforcement, helping to improve response times and reduce crime rates.
Neighborhood Watch Programs he said encourage citizens to form neighborhood watch programs to monitor and report suspicious activities in their communities.
He said, the programs can help deter criminals and provide an extra layer of security for residents.
Explaining further he indicated that Education and Awareness Campaigns is crucial to inform citizens about crime prevention strategies, importance of reporting crimes, and how to stay safe.
“These campaigns can be conducted through community meetings, social media, and other channels.
“Establishing volunteer programs that allow citizens to contribute to crime prevention efforts. Volunteers can assist law enforcement with tasks such as patrolling neighborhoods, conducting safety audits, and organizing community events.
“Organizing citizen patrols where trained volunteers patrol neighborhoods and report suspicious activities to law enforcement. These patrols can help deter criminal behavior and provide a visible presence in the community.
He canvassed for engaging young people in crime prevention efforts through initiatives such as youth mentorship programs, after-school activities, and community service projects. “These programs can help keep young people engaged and provide them with positive outlets for their energy and creativity.
Other solutions he said should include establishing victim support services that provide counseling, legal assistance, and other support to crime victims and their families.
“These services can help victims recover from the trauma of crime and provide them with the resources they need to rebuild their lives.
He reiterated the need to encourag citizens to participate in civic activities such as town hall meetings, community cleanups, and local government initiatives.
“This can help foster a sense of community and collective responsibility for crime prevention.
“Forming partnerships between law enforcement, businesses, and community organizations to develop and implement crime prevention strategies can leverage resources and expertise from multiple sectors to address crime more effectively.
The former inspector General of police said the fight against crime in Nigeria is a complex and multifaceted challenge that requires the collective efforts of all stakeholders, including government agencies, law enforcement, community leaders, and individual citizens. While progress has been made in some areas, such as the establishment of specialized agencies and the implementation of targeted interventions, much work remains to be done to address the root causes of crime and create a safer and more secure environment for all Nigerians.
“One of the key lessons learned from the experiences of other countries is the importance of engaging the citizenry in crime prevention efforts.
“Initiatives such as community policing, neighborhood watch programs, and crime reporting apps can empower citizens to take an active role in keeping their communities safe.
“By building trust and cooperation between law enforcement and the community, these initiatives can help reduce crime rates and improve public safety.
He also canvassed for the underlying socioeconomic factors that contribute to crime are addressed for long-term success.
“This includes investing in education, job creation, and social support programs that provide individuals with alternatives to a life of crime. Strengthening governance and the rule of law, promoting transparency and accountability, and addressing corruption are also essential for creating an environment where crime cannot thrive.
“Finally, it is important to recognize that crime prevention is a shared responsibility that requires the collaboration of all stakeholders.
“This includes government agencies, law enforcement, community organizations, businesses, and individual citizens. By working together, we can create a safer and more secure Nigeria for future generations.
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Nyesome Wike in his welcome address acknowledged that over the past few months, the nation’s capital has faced its fair share of security challenges, as have many regions across our great nation.
Represented by the acting Permanent Secretary of the ministry Dr. Shamsu Yahaya said, news, especially of kidnappings and the infamous “one chance” commercial car robberies made headline news.
“I am however pleased to report that through concerted efforts and the dedication of our security agencies, we have made significant strides in addressing these challenges.
“Our approach has been multifaceted, combining robust law enforcement measures with proactive community engagement initiatives.
“Furthermore, we have prioritized community-oriented policing approaches, fostering trust, and cooperation between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. By empowering local stakeholders and investing in grassroots initiatives, we have cultivated a culture of vigilance and resilience at the grassroots level.
“My tour of the six Area Councils has galvanized the populace and reassured them that they are not alone in this fight to safeguard their lives and property.
“Nevertheless, our work is far from over. As we gather here today, let us reaffirm our collective commitment to safeguarding our nation’s security and advancing our development agenda.
He concluded saying he would like all and sundry to leverage the insights shared during the conference to formulate robust policies, forge strategic partnerships, and mobilize resources toward a safer, more prosperous future for all Nigerians.
Police confirm rescue of kidnapped Abuja-bound GIG and ABC travellers
By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.
Kogi State command of the Nigeria Police has confirmed the release of 14 Abuja bound God is Good Motors (GIG) and ABC transports bus passengers abducted by gunmen last Friday.
The victims were traveling in the two buses where kidnapped when the gunmen hijacked the buses on Friday at Inele-Eteke Ogugu new road in Olamaboro Local Government Area of Kogi state.
The police public relations officer, SP William Aya who confirmed the development on Thursday said the rescue operation was carried out by a combined efforts of the Military, Police, hunters and vigilantes.
Aya who did not provide details of how the victims regained their freedom could neither say if any Ransom was paid.
“I can confirm that all the kidnapped victims of God is Good Motors and ABC transports have regained freedom”, the PPRO said.
It would be recalled that the GIG bus left Umuahia at about 7:30am on Saturday enroute Abuja but was hijacked along with the ABC bus by the gun-wielding hoodlums who abducted all the passengers.
The development was said to have irked and prompted the state Commissioner of Police Bethrand Onuoha to deployed the Police Tactical Squad consisting of Quick Response Unit, Police Mobile Force, Counter-Terrorism Unit, as well as conventional Police personnel to comb the bushes in an effort to rescue the victims. (Ends)
CHRCR urges FG, States to engage youths in counter terrorism efforts
By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.
Conscience For Human Rights And Conflict Resolution (CHRCR), a Civil Society Organization, has called on the Federal and State Governments to evolve strategies to positively engage young persons in counter terrorism efforts.
The organization made the call in a Communique issued at the end of a One-day Town Hall Meeting At Community Level on “Inspiring Youths For Leadership” for Kogi East Senatorial District at Wisdom Home Hotel, Aiyigba, Dekina Local Government Area.
The meeting was organized by CHRCR in partnership with the Nigerian Women Trust Fund with the support of MacArthur Foundation in furtherance of the Senatorial engagement on Youth in leadership campaign at State level in Kogi State.
The Communique signed by Mr Idris Miliki Abdul, Executive Director CHRCR, said it has been noticed that youths constitute a major contributing to the insecurity through their indulgence in violent extremism leading to terrorism.
It said that there was therefore, need to positively engage them in the counter terrorism efforts of government at both national and sub national levels.
The Communique attributed the “JAPA” syndrome to lack of confidence in the system of leadership and governance in Nigeria by young persons and called on government at all levels to critically address the issue.
“There must be a conscious effort at youth empowerment by government and other stakeholders to restore confidence in government and encourage youths towards leadership positions.
“The concept of mentorship for young persons in leadership must be taken seriously by both State and Non State Actors.
“The Government through the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Ministry of Information, Kogi State Youth Development Commission, etc, must build knowledge and improve awareness of young persons on leadership and its various processes”, it said.
Participants at the Town Hall Meeting also frowned at the issue of vote buying and selling, saying that citizens must desist from the act as it disenfranchises them of their right to select credible leaders.
“Vote buying reduces you to a commodity that can be cheaply bought and affects development and good governance apart being a criminal offence”, the Communique hinted.
As part of measures to prove youth participation in leadership and governance the CSO and participants called for proper mentorship of the youths by leaders and called for Constitutional amendment to remove the age barriers.
“The constitutional requirement on the age of contest must be amended to remove the Constitutional challenge to young persons’ involvement in in elections leading to good governance”, it said.
The One-day Town Hall Meeting featured among others, presentations and sessions including “Inspiring Youths for Leadership” by Executive Director CHRCR, Mr Idris Miliki Abdul.
It also featured, “Challenges of Youths in Attaining Leadership Positions and the Way Forward” by Executive Director, Initiative for Grassroots Advancement in Nigeria (INGRA), Mr Hamza Aliyu.
The Town Hall Meeting had leaders from Youth groups, Women groups from the East Senatorial District, Students from Prince Abubakar Audu University (formerly Kogi State University), Anyigba, and Media practitioners in attendance. (Ends)
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