State governments across the federation yesterday reviewed their investment in the security sector and said results have not matched the resources they have injected into the system.
Although they applauded the security agencies for rising to the challenge, they lamented that the increasing activities of terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and the ease with which separatist agents strike had made nonsense of their investments.
In separate interviews with LEADERSHIP, top state officials, who gave insights into the security expenditures, queried what the situation would have been if they had not stepped in to support, especially the police and the military with funds and logistics.
Facts gathered by LEADERSHIP showed that Lagos, Rivers, Borno and Imo States have deployed more funds and other resources than other states of the federation in the outgoing year.
In Niger State, the secretary to the state government (SSG), Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmed Matane said that the government had spent over N5 billion on security.
He said the state government had assisted the security agencies with operational vehicles and logistics to confront mainly banditry in Munya, Shiroro, Mashegu, Rafi, Mariga Lapai and Borgu local government areas.
He said the amount included catering for 151,380 people who were internally displaced for several weeks and months depending on the intensity of the security challenges.
The SSG did not give the details of the number of vehicles purchased or refurbished but reiterated that the state government assisted the security operatives in all their operations against banditry within available resources.
LEADERSHIP noted that the major security challenges in the state within the year were kidnapping, banditry, and cattle rustling, the most notorious of them being the mass abductions at Kalgara Government Science School, Tegina Islamiyya School pupils, Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) passengers and those of the traditional rulers of Wawa and Zungeru.
The State Command Police Public Relations Officer, Wasiu Abiodun said “Other challenges are youth restiveness and few communal clashes. The banditry challenges are majorly identified in Rafi, Shiroro, Munya, Mariga, and Mashegu LGAs, while youth restiveness was observed in Minna metropolis and few communal clashes from Lavun and Mokwa LGAs.
“The command has been able to surmount banditry challenges in the state through the deployment of tactical teams to the identified LGAs. The tactical teams were deployed along the identified routes of the hoodlums through which their movement was truncated and repelled. There were attempted bandit attacks on villages on several occasions in collaboration with other security agencies, in which some of the hoodlums were neutralised with recovery of motorcycles.”
The PPRO said despite the challenges of large land mass of the state and rough terrain, with inaccessible communication networks in most of the villages, the tactical teams patrol some of the areas on motorcycles, in a situation the areas cannot be accessed with vehicles.
On tackling youth restiveness in the metropolis, Abiodun said adequate deployment of patrol teams were made to confront thuggery activities, with arrest of over fifty suspects who were arraigned in court while others fled the state
“Community engagement of stakeholders such as traditional institutions, community leaders, religious leaders, youth leaders, and PCRC groups by the police was adopted to tackle communal clashes and other vices which is a principle of community policing,” he declared.
The police appreciated the Nasarawa state government for its partnership with security agencies.
He said the state government is helpful to the police but said more needs to be done.
The state governor on assumption of office sustained the maintenance and fuelling of a police helicopter patrolling the North-Central zone.
A source from the seat of power disclosed that the state governor is spending over N20 million monthly on maintenance of police choppers.
The patrol helicopter was also used for patrolling places like Toto Forest which is housing members of Darul Salam sect.
Sometime this year, the military from Four Special Force Command, Doma, killed scores and re-united over 100 people, mostly women and children, taken to their various states of origin with the help of the Department of State Services (DSS).
It was gathered that communities in Nasarawa state are relying on vigilante and civil defence officials for security. Some communities without police stations are Omgbolo (Angoro) ,Angwan Itace in Kokona local government, Ijiwo community, Burum-Burum Alago in Doma,
Bad roads, according to security experts in the state, contribute to the increasing cases of killings, as he said criminal elements take advantage of the bad roads to perpetrate crime.
In June, there was an airstrike in Giza community of Keana local government where over 30 heads of cattle were killed. Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders (MACBAN) described the attack as planned.
Aware that Lagos State is the nation’s commercial nerve centre, successive governments in the state have ensured that security matters are not treated with kid gloves.
Thus, this year, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu fortified the armoury of the state Police Command with new hardware and gadgets.
To this end, 150 units of double cabin vehicles, 30 patrol saloon cars, four high-capacity troop carriers and two anti-riot water cannon vehicles were part of the crime-fighting equipment donated to the police by the Lagos government on June 10, 2021 to strengthen security responses across the state.
Other gadgets donated to the police include two Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), 200 security patrol bikes, 1,000 units of ballistic vests, 1,000 ballistic helmets, 1,000 handheld walkie-talkies, office furniture, and other ancillary resources.
The donation was so massive that President Muhammadu Buhari personally took inventory and commissioned the security equipment before Governor Sanwo-Olu handed over the equipment to the inspector-general of police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, for the use of Lagos Police Command.
The gadgets were procured through the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF) – an autonomous agency that partners with the private sector and individuals to provide vital support to security agencies.
The Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund, Dr Abdurrazaq Balogun, who said expenditure on security is a continuous process, added that the 33,000 police officers in Lagos will need about N99bn to conveniently kit and equip them if they must be properly motivated.
He said to fully kit one policeman with uniform, taser, tactical gear (light, knife, jacket, belt, gloves, knee, shoulder, ankle, and boots) bulletproof vest, ballistic helmet, tear gas, push-to-talk on cellular communication equipment, rain gear, etc., will cost at least N3 million per officer.
On security challenges in Lagos, the state’s police commissioner, Mr Hakeem Odumosu said the major security challenge remained armed robbery, saying the state police command from December, 2020 to September 2021 recorded 228 robbery incidents, while 206 were foiled and 22 were successful, with 1124 suspects arrested in connection with the crimes.
He added that 1,034 among the armed robbery suspects arrested had been charged to court while others are still under investigation.
Odumosu added that the command also recorded 22 cases of cult-related violence and that 390 cultists were arrested during the period.
Odumosu said: “A total of 349 of the cultists have been arraigned before the court while investigation into the cases involving others is yet to be concluded. A total number of 243 murder cases were recorded with the arrest of 215 suspects. 210 of the murder suspects were charged to court while investigation is ongoing on other cases.
“A total 206 different arms and 475 assorted ammunition with 168 other dangerous weapons and cudgels were recovered during the period. 44029 social miscreants arrested and charged to court were convicted accordingly, with punishments ranging from fine, communal service to imprisonment awarded to them. A total of 8,483 motorcycles were impounded for plying restricted routes, while 4,406 vehicles were contravened for commuting on BRT corridor.’’
On April 1, 2021, the Rivers State government relaunched its special security outfit, C4i, which was aimed at boosting the security architecture of the state.
During the relaunch, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike donated 29 operational vehicles, as well as 200 bulletproof vests and helmets as morale booster for the personnel of the outfit.
The relaunched security outfit comprises 400 police officers and 200 officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, who were well trained in “relevant skills to ensure they carry out their duties efficiently.”
In May 2021, the Rivers State government announced the donation of N20 million to each of the families of the eleven policemen killed by unknown gunmen in the state.
Announcing the donation in Port Harcourt, Wike acknowledged that though no amount of money could equate to human life, the State’s gesture was aimed at assuaging the bereaved families that their loved ones did not die in vain.
When contacted, the permanent secretary in the office of the secretary to the rivers state government, Dr. George Nweke, said it is only the state government that knows the amount invested in security agencies and personnel in the state.
Speaking on the challenges faced by security agencies in 2021, a senior police officer, who pleaded for anonymity, said the greatest challenge faced by security operatives in the state was in May 2021 when facilities of security agencies across the state were attacked by unknown gunmen.
He said no fewer than 11 police officers and men as well as personnel of the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Custom Service lost their lives during the attacks.
In Imo State, the state government said it had invested over N20 billion in the fight against insecurity. This revelation was made by the commissioner for information and strategy, Hon. Declan Emelumba, in an interaction with LEADERSHIP.
He said the spate of insecurity has thrown more challenges to the state government and in its quest to confront the same frontally, the government will stop at nothing to bring the situation to normalcy. Hon. Emelumba said in line with its resolve to fight criminality, the State Government has also donated over hundred (100) vehicles and 1,500 communication gadgets to the police and other security agencies.
The governor, Hope Uzodimma while making this donation highlighted that this was in tandem with the resolve of the government’s zero tolerance to crime and criminality. However, Imo witnessed major security breaches, such as the invasion of the state correctional facility and the attack on the State Police Command Headquarters.
These attacks took the security architecture by surprise as the personnel of the police force and other security agencies were caught napping and overwhelmed by the unknown gunmen who came prepared and in large numbers. This was despite the fact that the Department of State Services (DSS) had alerted the Police and State government on these imminent attacks, which the Police and the State government seemingly ignored.
Consequently, the escapees from the correctional centre were said to be over 1,800 prisoners. This development was a source of concern and portends great consequences to the State and the country. These criminals have all returned to their trade, thereby posing great danger to society.
All efforts put in place by the authorities to re-arrest these criminals were abortive. Few returned on their own.
Kwara State government in 2021 donated 14 patrol vans to security agencies in the state. It also donated bulletproof jackets and steel helmets to the security agencies.
Of the 14 patrol vans, the state police command got 12 while the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSDC) got two.
The state government also renders monthly assistance to the state police command in the areas of fuelling and servicing of the police patrol vans.
When contacted, the spokesman of the state police command, Okasanmi Ajayi, confirmed the donation of 12 patrol vans by the state government to the force.
“In the year 2021, the Kwara State government donated 12 patrol vans to the police command. It also gave us body armoured or bulletproof jackets, many steel elements and rendered monthly assistance to us on logistics,” Ajayi stated.
The police spokesman said the challenges confronting the command include lack of adequate personnel, vehicles, communication gadgets and track devices, which he noted was not peculiar to Kwara.
For his part, the spokesman of the NSCDC in the state, Babawale Afolabi, said the state government donated two patrol vans to the agency in the outgoing year.
Afolabi added that the agency needs more patrol vans and other logistics that can aid the performance of its personnel.
The Senior Special Assistant on Security to the state governor, Alh Muyideen Aliu said the government’s investment on security is unquantifiable, adding that the government will continue to do its best in ensuring security of lives and properties across the state.
There were few cases of kidnapping in the state in the outgoing year, but the most spectacular of the incidents was the abduction of an Ilorin Emirate traditional chief who was also a retired permanent secretary and chief medical director of Fadima hospital, Ilorin, Dr Zubair Erubu.
In Kaduna State, the Nasir El-Rufai administration has continued to provide operational vehicles and other logistics to security agencies to tackle rising cases of banditry and kidnappings.
Governor El-Rufai gave out 85 operational vehicles to security agencies in 2019. The government also distributed more vehicles to security agencies in 2020 and 2021.
The governor said the gesture was to assist the federal security agencies in the task of securing the state, its people, properties and livelihoods.
However, the year under review, bandits had attacked the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA, Kaduna, killing two officers, while one was abducted.
Also, this year, bandits abducted 37 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna state. They regained freedom after spending weeks in kidnappers’ den.
Bandits kidnapped no fewer than 23 students and staff of Greenfield University, along Abuja- Kaduna Expressway. Out of the kidnapped students five were killed.
In July this year, kidnappers invaded Bethel Baptist High school, Maraban Damishi in Chikun Local government area of Kaduna state and abducted 121 students. The students were released in batches after payment of ransom.
Kaduna State government suspended weekly markets in Birnin Gwari, Chikun, Giwa, Igabi and Kajuru Local Government Areas of the state, over the growing insecurity in the state.
The state government also banned the sale of petrol in jerrycans within and outside the premises of petrol stations in the five LGAs. The ban is still being enforced.
In a statement, Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said the decision was taken following a thorough review of the security situation in the areas.
Kaduna State government also shutdown telecommunication services in some parts of the state to assist security agencies to carry out their operations in parts of the state. However, the government has since lifted the telecommunication network ban.
The Borno State government in its bid to boost the fight against the insurgents recently released 70 patrol vehicles to support the fight against insurgency in the State.
The vehicles were released to the Nigerian Army, the Nigeria Police Force, volunteers in the Civilian Joint Task Force, hunters, as well as all those involved in the fight against Boko Haram.
The vehicles were released at the Shehu of Borno’s palace in Maiduguri where a Rapid Response Squad was launched to combat terrorism and criminal activities in the state
The latest release of patrol vehicles followed the initial release of 160 patrol vehicles by the state government between June and September, 2019.
The governor directed that the larger number of the latest Hilux vehicles released should be used by hunters and civilian JTF to patrol the Maiduguri-Damboa road , another deadly road the terrorists occasionally strike .
The major crises that rocked Borno State in the year 2021 is the rampant kidnap and killings that the Boko Haram/ ISWAP terrorists have carried out on innocent civilians with attendant destruction of properties amid military onslaught on them.
Most affected was the Maiduguri- Damaturu highway where the terrorists at different times abducted and fled with travellers to their enclaves.
But the most frightening was the shelling of mortar bombs into the capital city of Maiduguri some minutes to the visit of president Muhammadu Buhari last Thursday for the commissioning of projects executed by the Borno State Governor Babagana Umara Zulum and a business mogul and philanthropist, Dr Muhammed Indimi who constructed state of the art distance learning centre at the University of Maiduguri.
While over five lives were lost in the explosion that emanated from five rocket launchers fired by the terrorists, over seven houses were equally destroyed.
In the last one year, many local governments in Gombe state have been peaceful but there were cases of kidnappings in Billiri local government with farmers and herders’ clashes in some councils.
However, the state commissioner of police Ishola Babatunde Babaita said as a result of the method of policing he initiated, including use of intelligence and community policing in April this year when he came on board, the state has enjoyed relative peace.
But the state commissioner of finance Muhammad Magaji declined to comment on the money expended by the state government on security within the last year.
Osun State is no doubt one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria when compared to what obtains in other states across the country.
The achievement is not without a cost because the state government has invested an undisclosed huge amount to secure the state in terms of procurement of vehicles for law enforcement agencies in the state among others.
According to the chief press secretary to the governor, Mr Ismail Omipidan, apart from the support to law enforcement agencies in terms of logistics, the government has continued to fund its security outfit, ‘the Amotekun corps’ and continued to fund the Joint Task Force comprising security agencies and the army.
Omipidan reiterated government’s commitment to secure residents and their property and ensure that peace continues to reign in the state.
However, despite the government’s effort to secure the state from the activities of criminals, there were pockets of security breaches during the outgoing year.
For instance, no fewer than 15 people including police officers were lost to various criminal acts by robbers, kidnappers and cultists in the outgoing year.
Three robbery attacks on banks in Iree, Iragbiji, both in Boripe local government area, and Okuku in Odo-Otin local government in March, August and September claimed no fewer than six people including a constable and two police inspectors
Also, about five people died in the hands of kidnappers while no fewer than twenty-one people were abducted and released later in the operations along Iwaraja along Ilesa/Akure road in February, Omo Ijesa also along Ilesa/Akure road in May and in Ajebandele along Ibokun/Osogbo road in June.
The Osun command of Nigeria Police has been able to contain various security breaches emanating from political gatherings in the state.
The Osun police public relations officer Yemisi Opalola restated the commitment of the command to protect residents and their properties from criminals, adding that criminally minded people should relocate from the state.
Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State in 2021 donated 50 patrol vehicles and 200 security motorcycles to security agencies in the state.
The governor while commissioning the security patrol vehicles and special motorcycles at the new Government House, Little Rayfield, Jos, said: “These vehicles will be equipped with communication gadgets to enhance rapid response and continuous surveillance, while the special security motorcycles will enable the security agencies to access remote locations which criminals use as hideouts to launch attacks and retreat to.”
He warned against the misuse of the vehicles and motorcycles by those that will be entrusted with them stressing.
“We expect a good maintenance culture and accountable usage. We will not accept a situation where the vehicles are turned into private use. Anytime we see the cars outside Plateau without authorisation or justifiable cause, we will seize them on the spot and ensure the defaulting personnel are appropriately sanctioned.”
Before the presentation, Yelwan Zangam community close to the permanent site University of Jos in Jos North LGA witnessed bloodbath as gunmen killed no fewer than 35 persons.
It was gathered that the attack took place about 9pm in the night despite the dusk to dawn curfew imposed on the Jos North, Jos South and Bassa local government areas of the state.
The attackers shot sporadically into the air, gunning down some fleeing residents and burning others beyond recognition.
Similarly, a few days later suspected gunmen attacked three Irigwe communities in Bassa LGA, killing 13 persons in the process .
Also, over 20 others reportedly sustained fatal injuries and about 22,000 people have been displaced.
It was further gathered that during the clash, over 200 houses were burnt in the affected communities, which include Zanwrah, Kpatenvien and Kpachudu among others.
In another development, Jos the state capital was thrown into mourning again in August following the gruesome killing of 25 travellers on Rukuba Road in Jos North Local Government Area.
The incident occurred around 9:45 am when passengers travelling in five vehicles from Bauchi to Ikale in Ondo State ran into a procession conveying corpses of those killed in Irigwe, Bassa Local Government Area for mass burial.
Before the attack on the Ikale travellers, seven persons were allegedly killed last week in Bassa Local Government. It was gathered that scores of sympathisers had assembled at Plateau State Specialist Hospital by 7am on Saturday to convey the corpses to Miango for burial.
The travellers, who were not privy to the happening, ran into the convoy and some irate youths who were among the sympathisers descended on the five buses, killed a number of them, a majority of based in Ondo State.
In Enugu State, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi procured many vehicles to security operatives in the state, including the army. It was further observed that the 360 patrol vehicles (100 SUV trucks produced by Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing company and 260 sundry vehicles comprising wagon style saloon cars and buses), which his administration procured in 2019 and donated to the Nigerian Police, Nigerian Army, and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, were all motorable in 2021 and largely contributed in the fight against insecurity in the state.
In the year under review, the government also strengthened the 1,700 operatives of forest guards. It also strengthened Neighbourhood Watch by adding to the number of vigilantes.
The forest guards and vigilantes are currently working in the various wards of the 17 local government areas of the state, a development security experts say is consistent with the community-based approach to crime-fighting.
Speaking with LEADERSHIP, the spokesman of the governor, Steve Oruruo said peace has continued to reign supreme in Enugu State because of the peaceful nature of the governor.
The peaceful nature of Enugu was however threatened in 2021 by the activities of unknown gunmen, suspected to members of the Eastern Security Network, a militant wing of the Indigenous People of Biafra.
They killed many policemen and burnt down police stations as well as INEC offices, a development that instilled fear in the masses.
As part of efforts to maintain peace in the state, Ugwuanyi signed the state’s Security Trust Fund bill passed by the state House of Assembly into Law.
The government explained that the moves were part of efforts to strengthen the resolve of the state government to provide security for residents.
Speaking to our correspondent on the challenges they faced in 2021, the spokesman of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in Enugu, Mr Denny Manuel Iwuchukwu , said people were reluctant to divulge information to them.
He, however, expressed happiness that through sensitisation and advocacy visits initiated by the command, some people changed and started providing information to the command, which he said made it possible for the command to arrest many rail track vandals.
In Ondo State, the state government under the leadership of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has invested much on security in the year under review.
LEADERSHIP gathered that in the year 2021, the state government focused its attention on equipping Amotekun to further strengthen the security of the state.
A source within the government who does not want his name mentioned told LEADERSHIP that the government had decided not to announce the amount spent on the security.
He said the government has ensured that all the security agencies in the state are collaborating to ensure a crime-free society in the state as part of an investment of the government.
He said, “Recently, 20 additional patrol vehicles that would assist the security outfit to do more in policing all the 18 council areas of the state have been donated by the government.
“Also, 503 personnel were newly recruited by Amotekun to further strengthen the security of the state.
“I may not be able to give you a specific figure as regards the actual amount spent on the security in the state. This is a security matter, we will not like to expose ourselves.”
Since the inception of the present administration in Oyo State in 2019 under the leadership of Engineer Oluwaseyi Makinde, the state government has focused on a four-point agenda on expansion of the economy, education, health and security.
Although the government refused to disclose the specific amount of money spent on security this fiscal year, it said billions of Naira had been spent on security.
The governor had at different fora declared that the administration’s four-point agenda will take Oyo to greater heights and that there is no doubt that the administration was on course in ensuring the safety of lives, property, assets of the state and national.
In the area of security, the governor had made sure that the State Security Network popularly called Amotekun Corps has not only come to stay, but it has continued to combat security challenges while necessary support was extended to other security agencies.
Despite some security challenges, the governor argued that Oyo State remains the safest state in Nigeria.
Apart from the regional security network, the state government had invested billions of naira on other security agencies. Logistics such as vehicles, communication gadgets were given to all the security agencies as support towards ensuring safety of lives and property.
One of the recent security challenges in the state was kidnapping and killing of some prominent indigenes in the state by suspected herdsmen.
The commissioner for information and public enlightenment, Anambra State, Mr. C-Don Adinuba has described the state government investment in security within this passing year as “massive”.
Also, the public relations Officer of the state police command, PPRO, Ikenga Tochukwu ascribed the achievement recorded by the command in crime fighting essentially to the support of the state government and cooperation of the people of the state.
Adinuba stated that in addition to the ” state of the art advanced surveillance equipment, properly equipped with sophisticated crime tracking cameras imported from Boston,” the state government also provided funding for the training of security operatives who man the equipment.
He stated that the government, addition to funding the state special security outfit code-named “Operation Nkpochapu” a combined team of personnel of various security agencies, including the police, military, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, the government also set up intelligence gathering team in major flashpoints, including markets and motor-parks, and funded them to help in intelligence gathering.
He added that the government had earmarked some funds as compensation for victims of police brutality as might be recommended by the tribunal set up for that purpose
Following the EndSARS protests, the government further within this passing year released funds for renovation of police stations burnt during the unknown gunmen rampage, and also assisted in the repair and replacement of destroyed operational vehicles and other damaged equipment.
“In fact, the investment of the Anambra state government in security within this passing year is to say the least massive, and this why the state is seen as the safest state throughout the federation”, Adinuba stated.
Meanwhile, the spokesman of the state police command stated that the command recorded huge successes in the fight against crime in the state.
He said several houses belonging to kidnappers had been demolished to discourage many from going into kidnapping.
In Ogun State, the Prince Dapo Abiodun-led administration has donated a total number of 55 patrol vehicles, motorcycles, 200 bullet proof vests, 20 helmets, as well as communication equipment to the security agencies during the outgoing year 2021.
The security equipment handed over to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba on the 10th of June, 2021, was said to be part of the Abiodun administration’s contribution towards scaling up the security situation across the state.
This was in addition to the 100 pickup vehicles, 200 motorcycles and communication gadgets earlier donated to the security agencies in the state by his administration on 6th September, 2020.
Although it is extremely difficult to ascertain the total sum of money allocated to the security sector in Ogun State as of the time of filing this report, the state governor, however, maintained that the presentation of the security equipment was part of his administration’s continued collaboration and cooperation with the security agencies towards improving security of lives and property in state.
He said the donation, which included 35 saloon vehicles, 20 pick-up patrol vehicles, 200 bullet proof vests and 20 helmets to the police and other security agencies in the state, was the second one to be done since he assumed office as governor.
LEADERSHIP, however, recalls that cases of incessant kidnapping as well as undue rivalries among different secret cult groups were the two major security challenges bedeviling Ogun during the outgoing year 2021.
The situation was so terrible that successive State Commissioners of Police, State Directors of the Department of State Services (DSS), as well as the Commandants of the Artillery Command of the 35 Brigade Command of the Nigerian Army in Alamala, Abeokuta, have all had causes to lead search parties at different occasions when several citizens and non-citizens of the state were kidnapped in some notorious axis of the state.
Speaking with LEADERSHIP yesterday in Abeokuta, the state capital, on the security challenges in the state, the command’s Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Abimbola Oyeyemi identified kidnapping and cultism as the two major security challenges that confronted his command during the outgoing year 2021
In Bayelsa, the administration of Governor Douye Diri, in the last two years, spent heavily to improve the security architecture and support the security agencies in the state due to the challenges of cultism, kidnapping and other violent crimes.
Diri within the years under review reviewed the state security architecture with the re-launch of the State Security outfit known as Operation Door Akpo and the commissioning of 50 new operational vehicles, 40 motorbikes and security gadgets in the state.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the issue of insecurity in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa capital, reached a worrisome peak when non-indigenous business owners planned to stage a protest against rising cases of kidnapping and invasion of their business premises.
Prominent business owners and residents in the state capital in recent times fell victims to abduction for ransom and violent attacks on business premises.
Supermarkets and shops in Yenagoa have started shutting down by 7pm in order to avoid becoming a target to armed attacks by unknown persons amidst rising cases of insecurity in the state.
The special adviser to the governor on security, CP Agberebi Akpoebi (rtd), noted that the outfit had assisted in combating crime in the state, making it one of the safest states in the South- South geopolitical zone. According to him, the swift response of Doo-Akpo to distress calls encourages residents to believe in the capability of the outfit to ensure their safety.
State Police, The Way Out – Stakeholders
Stakeholders in the security sector said the continuous security challenges bedeviling the country would be addressed with the coming of state police.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has constantly canvassed state police as he believes that Nigeria is too large for a central inspector-general of police in Abuja to monitor the situation in remote communities far away from the federal capital.
Also, many state governors, including Aminu Masari of Katsina; Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo and Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna have all advocated for state police in the past.
The commandant of a security network in Abuja, responsible for securing some villages in the FCT, Aminu Ali, said it is time Nigeria established state policing to curtail the menace of insecurity.
He said most countries in Africa have vibrant communities with tested community leaders, like Nigeria, and that state policing or community policing is a practical way of democratising policing in a democratic system.
Another stakeholder, Bidemi Adebayo explained that having a centralised police in a pluralised country like Nigeria is way too risky.
He said a state like Zamfara has fewer than 5,000 police officers for a population of about four million which is not adequate for proper policing of the state.
He also quoted Katsina State governor to have complained of having only 30 police officers to protect 100 villages in the state, and said if state police is allowed, these challenges would be better addressed.