By Evelyn Usman
INSPECTOR General of Police, Ibrahim Idris yesterday disclosed that plans had been concluded by the Police to establish tracking units in Lagos and Rivers states, with a view to addressing the spate of kidnapping which has assumed a worrisome dimension in the country.
Making the disclosure after inspecting an on-going construction of Police shopping mall in Ikeja and a condolence visit to the Ogba home of late Commissioner of Police, Rivers state Police command, Francis Odesanya, Idris disclosed that the use of tracking machines had contributed immensely to the apprehension
of kidnap suspects and subsequent rescue of victims. Citing the recent arrest of a serial kidnap suspect, Joseph Omoni by his Intelligence Response Team, in Ogijo area of Ogun state as an example of the benefit of the tracking device, Idris stated that the device was presently in Abuja.
He pointed out that there was need to extend the unit, explaining that it would fast track operatives’ efforts in the fight against kidnap and other heinous crimes in the country He said “The tracking unit has helped us a lot in solving kidnap cases. I can tell you that we have resolved 90 percent of kidnap cases across the country.
We have rescued victims and arrested most of the suspects in almost all the crimes and we have some of the suspects in our custody.
“We have been able to achieve this with the tracker in Abuja. So, in order to achieve more, we are establishing two other tracking units, one in Lagos and another in Rivers State to serve the east and west. “Very soon we are going to have a National Security Summit. Kidnapping seems to be a community problem. I agree that it is becoming a major challenge which cuts across the entire country and has to be addressed in various forms.
“It is not just the police or security agencies that are involved in this fight but every Nigerian. Take for instance where the Turkish School students were kidnapped. That school is situated at the foot of a swamp. Despite that, parents pay huge amount of money but the school didn’t invest much in security.
“So, we are going to use the summit to address these issues as well as others like the herdsmen and farmers issues. These issues are dividing us as a nation and we need to solve them. You cannot have the maximum support of security in an area without the support of the public. Everybody has a responsibility to make our society safe.”
He highlighted funding of the Police as one of the major challenges facing the Force, stressing the need to have Security Trust fund at the national level as it obtained in Lagos state. He revealed that of the N300 billion allocated to the police in 2016 budget, only N4billion was eventually released.
According to the police boss: “The funding of the police is costly. What we are trying to do is pursue 50 percent of our budgetary requirement from other sources. We are also looking for other avenues on how we can address the problem of the police.
“At the same time, we are hoping that the National Assembly would pass the Bill establishing Police Trust Fund, and open up other sources for the police to generate money. It is possible, it is already happening in Lagos (Security Trust Fund) and has been working wonderfully.