January 24, 2024

Kidnapping: Wike orders establishment, profiling of vigilance groups


FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike

By Omeiza Ajayi

Federal Capital Territory FCT Minister, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, has directed the six Area Council Chairmen in the territory to set up vigilance groups and also ensure the immediate profiling of members of the groups.

Speaking during a strategic security meeting with members of the FCT Council of Chiefs and the council chairmen, Wike said the administration would continue to work with the traditional rulers to ensure foolproof security for the nation’s capital.

He said, “We have asked all the area councils to set up vigilance teams, and we believe that those vigilance teams won’t be the ones perpetrating the crimes. Therefore, they must be profiled so that they are known. Who are they? Are they from our communities? So that we won’t say we want to solve a problem and then cause another one, they (chairmen) will have to do that with you (traditional rulers).

“We have told the police and other security agencies to meet all their needs, and we are going to meet them so that our people can sleep comfortably with their eyes closed.

“We thought that there was a need to meet with you and the council chairmen so that we could work in synergy and be on the same page. If there are things you think we should do too, we are willing to partner with you so that the challenges we are facing now will be a thing of the past. You must work hard because insecurity is not written on anybody’s face. Anyone can be a victim, and that is why we must do everything possible to ensure that our subjects are not victims of these criminals.

“We are not folding our hands; we are not sleeping. We are working 24 hours a day, round the clock.

“Again, you would have heard that we are demolishing shanties. You know criminals won’t want to live in known houses. They commit crimes and run to shanties that can’t be easily traced. So, we will continue to demolish shanties. You need to support us. You don’t allow people to bring propaganda. There is nothing like that.”

The minister also reiterated his resolve to roll out buses to reduce the incidences of ‘one chance’ or taxi robberies.

“Very soon we are going to roll out our buses, which will be painted in Abuja colours, and we won’t allow taxis that are not painted in our colours to operate so that this issue of one chance can be imitated,” he stated.

He said that before President Bola Tinubu departed for France on Wednesday, he had asked him to inform the traditional rulers that the government was doing all within its powers to secure the nation.

“We sincerely thank all of you for your concerns and efforts. Before Mr President departed this afternoon, he said I should inform you that the government is doing all within its power to curb insecurity. Already, the government has shown strength. It has shown courage in fighting insecurity across the country.

“This is the FCT where many Nigerians want to come and stay, and so we are more concerned because when the capital is threatened, the whole country is threatened. So, we are very serious about security. We are not sleeping. We are working 24 hours.

“We have met with the councils, and we have told them the little we need, which is information to be able to help security agencies that are directly involved in the fight against criminalities. Nobody would say there is anywhere in this world, no matter how developed, that has no form of insecurity or anything else.

The only difference is that it is either nipped in the bud or you are sure that if it happens, the criminals are caught. But that is not an excuse for us. We are ready to ensure it doesn’t happen, or when it does, the perpetrators are arrested and made to face the wrath of the law.

“The president has given us a series of approvals to make sure that security agencies are fully equipped to fight this crime, and we cannot do this alone without your support. You have a role to play in securing your domains. You know those around your domain. If there are unfamiliar faces, you can let the council chairmen know so as to report to my office so that actions can be taken, he added.

Responding, the Ona of Abaji and Chairman, FCT Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Adamu Baba Yunusa, who said the minister was not new to governance or to Abuja, expressed optimism in his ability to turn around the fortunes of the territory.

“You are not new in Abuja, and we trust you that you are going to change the story of Abuja by God’s grace.

“Continue with what you are doing, and we are backing you,” Ona said.