Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has stated that despite the chaotic security apparatus he inherited in the State, his Administration has made the Confluence State safe for citizens, residents, travelers, investors and tourists in the State.
The Governor further noted that such claim should not be received on face value but it was derived from verifiable national data coming out of credible institutions.
Governor Bello made this known on Wednesday, at the University of Abuja at a Two-day colloquium organised by The Sultan Maccido Institute for Peace, Leadership and Developments Studies (SMIPLDS) where he featured as a keynote speaker on issues bothering curbing insurgency and insecurity in the country.
The Governor who was represented by his State Security Adviser, Navy Commander Jerry Omodara, explained that in the past the State featured as the epicenter of insecurity, due to sheer laxity, corruption and non-commitment of resources over the years to security infrastructure and man-power in Kogi State stating that the security agencies found themselves trailing the highly mobile and logistically superior criminal franchise which affected the State.
He also explained that under previous administration evil and criminal vices which included killing, bank robberies, jailbreak by Boko Haram insurgents, attack of offices of security agencies, kidnapping and other forms of criminality were perpetuated in the state because of the lack of political will and opacity in the use of security votes.
The Governor affirmed that as against the claims made by the most immediate Governor of the State in an interview, where he stated that Kogi under his dispensation was a model of peaceful tranquillity, where citizens could sleep with their two eyes closed, records showed that the former governor presided over one of the most terrifying periods of extended and unrelenting insecurity the state has ever witnessed since inception.
He pointed out that Kogi under his watch was in April 2018, ranked as the 2nd most peaceful state in the country after Osun and the most peaceful in the North of Nigeria by the Nigerian Peace Index. The State was also ranked as the State with the second lowest crime statistics in the country after Kebbi by the National Bureau of Statistics, he noted
The Governor pointed out that while the state’s success were underreported, several law enforcement agencies have made Kogi State their case study on how to achieve rapid progress in check-mating concerns on insecurity, he mentioned similarly that some establishments and government institution like the Nigerian Army and the police force have publicly commended the State’s efforts in tackling the menace of insecurity.
Gov Yahaya Bello highlighted the solutions which the state adopted in tackling numerous security challenge to include, the Formation of Operation Total Freedom, Establishment of Kogi Vigilante Service, Repair of roads and clearing of bushes along major roads, the construction of Forward Operation Base for the Nigerian Army, Arrests and recovery of Arms and Ammunitions.
Other strategy adopted included the use of Artificial Intelligence and advanced technology and vast youth engagement in the State all of which the State invested heavily to ensure it achieved the desired result of a peaceful and safe Kogi State.
In curbing insecurity in the States and the country at large, Governor Bello recommended that the Federal Government must recognize the peculiar nature of each state, classify them accordingly and deploy security agencies and funding accordingly.
He also advised that neighbouring states begin to synergize in the area of intelligence gathering and deployment of technology in fighting crime so as to curb inter-state crimes
Governor Bello also canvassed for the constant review of existing laws that were obsolete especially in areas of arrest, detention and prosecution
The Governor expressed gladness that his government was doing excellently well in achieving its policy statement which clearly stated in the New Direction Blueprint of his Administration that high rate of insecurity which was inherited would be reduced to 5% by the end of 2019
He emphasised again that the peaceful co-existence among different communities was paramount under leadership, noting that a lot was required of the citizenry of the nation to continue to provide useful and timely information to security agencies in order to tackle insecurity.