We’re deploying drones, other technologies to tackle insecurity – IGP

IGP Baba Alkali

Inspector General of Police Usman Alkali Baba has said the Nigeria Police Force is deploying technology in virtually all areas of its operations in tackling new waves of banditry and kidnapping across the country.

Baba said “the Marine unit has been reactivated, crime section digitalised, drones have been acquired while the Technical Intelligent Unit is fully functional to cope with new trends in crime and criminality.”

The police boss spoke in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, while addressing officers and men of the state command, Ikot Akpana-Abia, Uyo Wednesday during the commissioning of the Special Protection Unit base in Onna local government area of the state.

He said the Nigeria Police must work with time and modernity to contain the ever dynamic crime waves, adding that training and retraining had been the cardinal point of the present administration.

Baba said: “Crime and criminality is a dynamic thing; it is not something that is static. It moves with time, it moves with modernisation, it moves with technology. Nobody has ever told us that human beings can be stolen; now we see human beings being stolen and taken away and they’re asking you to bring money. That is new crime which is called kidnapping. We know of armed robbery and now we started hearing of armed banditry.

“So, we must work with time modernity and therefore one of our cardinal principles in the job now is to train and retrain ourselves. So, training is the cardinal point of our administration. We just started training our 10,000 recruits effective last Monday and we have been able to change the curriculum to reflect modernism.

“Since we came we have gotten a lot, we have just been given 200 brand of Pick Up vehicles that are very strong by the Police Trust Fund. We have made our Air wings very effective, we are proud of putting six helicopters on the air at one time.

“Our Marine segment has been reactivated; our Technical Intelligent Unit is working. We have acquired drones, we have digitalised our crime section, we have involved a lot of technology in our works,” the IGP said.

He encouraged police officers to constantly educate themselves by reading and listening to news on in order to acquaint themselves with latest happenings in the society.

The IGP, however, lamented that before the launch of Operation Restore Peace to the South-East, the secessionists had demoralised the workforce with unprovoked attacks and killings, adding that the force is working tirelessly to equip itself with tools to aid operations.

In his remarks, the state Commissioner of Police, Andrew Amiengheme, lauded the IGP for his result-oriented policies which are in line with global best practices.

He said though there had been unprovoked attacks since he assumed office as the 30th CP, the measures he initiated by re-jigging the security apparatuses of the state has started yielding fruits.

Amiengheme commended the collaboration between the Nigeria Police and the support of the state government in fighting crime and prevention in the state.

“Since we assumed office, we have been able to re-jig the security apparatuses of the state and that is yielding results in the state. Some of our men are still in the affected areas” the CP said.

Senate urges military  

In a related development, the Senate Wednesday urged the military and security agencies in the country to closely monitor and block the escape routes used by bandits and fleeing terrorists to forestall their relocation to safe havens in other parts of Niger state and the country.

This was just as it urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide food and other livelihood support amenities to affected villages and those internally displaced in Mariga, Mashegu, Kontagora and Borgu Local Government Areas in Niger North Senatorial District.

These formed part of resolutions reached by the Senate following a motion on “Renewed kidnappings and Banditry Attacks on Communities in Mariga, Mashegu, Kontagora and Borgu Local Government Areas of Niger North Senatorial District.”

 Coming under Order 41 and 51 of the new Senate Standing Orders, the Deputy Whip, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, bemoaned the disturbing trend of renewed kidnappings and banditry communities of Mariga, Mashegu and Kontagora local government areas of the state.

Recalling the dastardly act, he said: “Following the massive onslaught against criminal elements and bandits operating in eastern parts of Sokoto State and Zamfara, there was massive movement of these escaping bandits and their criminal elements into Niger State and specifically into Mariga local government area of Niger State.

“Concerned that these bandits continuously attacked communities in Mariga LGA leading to massive internal displacement of many communities. Currently Villagers have moved out of MaÚndu, Alabani, Sappaji in Berri Ward; over twenty villages are now empty in Galma/Wamba ward and scanty residents in Ukuru, Igoma, Maruba and Ruka villages in Bobbi Ward. 

“Communities that border Kaduna, Zamfara and Kebbi States located in Mariga LGA namely Galma, Makici, Makogi Na Maforo, Nassarawa, and Kwanan Duci are constantly being attacked by bandits and over 15 persons killed in Bobbi ward of Mariga LGA.

“Disturbed that some notorious bandits in their numbers operated for hours in five villages on Friday, 14 January, 2022, where several cattle were rustled as villagers fled their homes.”

He further said: “The bandits first attacked Tungan-Ruá village in the morning, later moved to Tungan Maje and also rustled cattle.

 “The same day they attacked Kawo Mashegu where two people were killed, four persons abducted and proceeded to attack Tungan Magaji village where several cattle were also taken away. 

“After several operations, 17 persons were abducted including two persons delivering ransom. The same day Farin Shinge village a few kilometres’ away from Kontagora town was also attacked and two persons kidnapped.

“Worried that the bandits are in the habit of burning down villages, burning farms with agricultural produce unharvested, stealing the home stored foods of villages they attack with the danger of those who brave the odds to go to their farms for harvest being killed or kidnapped. Many villagers are now IDPS in places like Bangi, Mangoro and other safer locations with no food or amenities for their livelihoods;

“Further recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the nation’s armed forces for a major military operation in Niger State which has faced continued attacks on its communities by bandits and remnants of Boko Haram terrorists fleeing theatres of war in the Northwestern and Northeastern parts of the country;

“Strongly suggest that the operations should be comprehensive enough to close the various paths that give the bandits and fleeing terrorists access to safe havens in various parts of Niger State especially in Mariga, Mashegu, Magama and Borgu Local Governments of Niger North Senatorial Districts and Rafi and Shiroro Local Governments of Niger East Senatorial Districts.”

Accordingly, the Senate resolved to observe a one-minute silence for those who lost their lives.

Resolutions

It urged the armed forces and other security agencies involved in the ordered operations to closely monitor and block the escape paths/routes used by the bandits and fleeing terrorists to forestall their relocation to safe havens in other parts of Niger state.

The chamber also urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide food and other livelihood support amenities to affected villages and those who now IDPS in Mariga, Mashegu, Kontagora and Borgu local government areas of Niger North Senatorial District.