Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi says his administration has succeeded in providing adequate security in the state by enhancing citizens’ involvement in the fight against insecurity.
Represented by the state Deputy Governor Edward Onoja, Bello made this observation at the Annual Lecture/Fellow’s Night 2021 of the Institute of Security and Strategic Studies on Saturday in Abuja.
He said that his government, being youth-oriented, had been able to involve young minds in decision making on security issues.
He observed that the state was confronted with several security challenges prior to his assumption of office as governor in 2015.
He said that he assigned security roles to more than 5,000 young men and women in local governments to collaborate with security agencies and ensure adequate security in their communities.
“Some of the measures taken by the government to tackle insecurity include clearing of highway bushes, equipping security agencies, engagement of youths in vigilance groups and incorporation of hunters into anti-kidnapping squad,” he said.
He noted that his administration also involved citizens in the fight against insecurity through involvement of local government chairmen and traditional rulers in the security arrangement of the state.
He said that the kidnapping of his mother provided an opportunity for him to work hard to rid the state of all forms of criminality and make it safe for the citizens.
“Upon my assumption of office as executive governor of Kogi, I saw it as a divine opportunity among others to rid the state of all crimes and criminality.
“To achieve this goal, we decided to take a simple steps to frontally tackle crime in our society.
“Some of which is highway vegetation control by clearing six metres in either side of the highway across the state.
“This simple initiative improved visibility for travellers and eliminated high impulse of kidnappers that usually pound on unsuspecting travellers around blind spots of the highways to execute their nefarious activities,” he said.
Bello announced that the state had bought and equipped no fewer than 200 security vehicles for the security agencies.
He said that the vehicles were strategically deployed across the state to collaborate with citizens to curb crimes.
He also said that the state invested in the use of technology to gather intelligence across the state as well as collaborate with responsible corporate entities in the state.
The former Director-General, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Prof. Ahmed Danfulani, said that no nation could progress where a group of individuals constituted themselves as threats to the national security.
Danfulani, who spoke on the theme: “Our National Security Predicaments: Implications for the Current Democratic Order”, said the success of national security was difficult to appreciate in a state of fear and uncertainty.
According to him, the average Nigerian has no idea of what is national security and people take issues of national with levity.
He called for collective effort in promoting the Nigeria project and promote its national security.
The Secretary, Governing Council, Institute of Security and Strategic Studies, Dr Danladi Abdulhameed, said that the global terrorism index for 2021 listed Nigeria as the third most terrorised countries in the world after Afghanistan and Iraq.
Abdulhameed said the classification was hinged on the fact that Nigeria had been in a state of war against terrorism, farmers/herdsmen clashes, banditry and Kidnapping.
He said that while terrorist attacks could occur anywhere in the world, insecurity had remained the greatest threat to Nigeria’s budding democracy.
He said that several challenges have continued to besiege the nation’s democratic system such as insecurity which has claimed the lives and livelihoods of civilians, foreigners, security personnel and threatened our socio-economic and political entity.
“It is on this note that we at the Institute of Security and Strategic Studies are committed to protecting our nation’s security so that the electorate shall have confidence in nascent democracy,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the institute inducted Gov. Yahaya Bello to fellowship and also bestowed on him the Security Personality of the Year 2021 Award.
Also inducted to the fellowship is the Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (Tetfund), Prof. Suleiman Bogoro among others.