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FCT Set To Acquire Digital Tracking Devices To Tackle Kidnapping, Banditry In Abuja 

Nyeson Wike

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Administration has announced move to acquire digital tracking devices to adequately tackle kidnappers and bandits that have been terrorising the residents in recent time.
The Minister of the FCT, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, who spoke to newsmen today, January 22, said that the acquisition of the devices is made possible by the grant of an emergency approval by President Bola Tinubu.
Wike confirmed that lack of adequate equipment in the past led to recent unpleasant series of attacks in the capital city, saying that with the emergency procurement approval by the President, the story would soon change for better.
The Minister said that the purchase of the special equipment will enable the security agencies to track criminals to their exact location in the city and that it would help to limit criminal activities.
“So, what we have done with Mr. President, giving us approval for emergency procurement, we have been able to identify what each of the agencies need and we will be able now to provide them.”
He said that the FCT Administration will provide motorcycles to ease specific movements of the security agencies in difficult terrains to enable them tackle insecurity in the nation’s capital.
The Minister said that he learnt on assumption of office that the Nigeria Police Force had requested the procurement of motorcycles to enable them go into places vehicles could not get to, including remote and mountainous areas
“The basic thing is having identified all these and the security agencies have told us this is what they require, we have to do the needful. We have even gone further to ask the state director of DSS about what they would need to tackle this menace. What kind of equipment do you want? Not that if anything happens, you have to run to your headquarters to seek assistance.
Wike stressed that the government is not resting on its oars, even as he said that some of the informants recently arrested by security agencies were cooperating and giving useful intelligence.
He said that the information extracted from the informants has led to the arrest of some kidnappers as well as the foiling of more attacks.
The Minister said the need for information sharing among security agencies saying that it is key to unravelling the issue of insecurity in the nation’s capital.
Wike said that the Administration will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure the safety of lives and property in the FCT.
“Our going out to involve the natives, the Area Councils, is to let them know that they also have a role to play and that information is key. We were able to encourage the area councils to have vigilante groups to be able to give security agencies information. We were able to know firsthand, their own peculiarities, their own problems.”
He said that most kidnapping incidents occur in the boundary areas of the FCT and that the Administration would work with the states that share borders with the FCT to bring an end to insecurity.
“When I came on board, as part of the hand over notes, there is a section where the governors of the four states and the FCT try to form a coalition on how they can support each other to reduce the level of insecurity amongst the boundary states and the FCT, but it was not implemented.
“But the governors are settled now after the elections. So, we will be having our first meeting next week which FCT is going to host the four states that share borders with the FCT in order to fully implement the cooperation between the four states and the FCT, because if we don’t do that it will be difficult because we need the support of Nasarawa, Kogi, Niger and Kaduna states and majorly, Kaduna and Niger.”
He said that most of the bandits, when are flushed out of the states, run into forests bordering the states and the FCT and eventually into the FCT. The Minister commended the Nigeria Army for their efforts in flushing out the criminals, and appealed to them do more with more motivation.
“We are talking about forest that run into thousands of hectares. Our soldiers have tried within their capacity. From time to time, they raid these forests but they can’t remain there permanently because they don’t have the resources and personnel to keep them there permanently. And as they move out, some of these bandits come in again. But with what we are doing now, and the support of the various area councils, we think they will soon be a thing of the past.”
As part of measures to check insecurity, especially “one chance,” the Minister said that henceforth, all commercial vehicles in the FCT would be registered and painted in the colors of the FCT.
He stressed that no unregistered vehicle would be allowed for commercial purpose in the FCT.
“We are not going to allow vehicles that are not with FCT colors, registered by the FCTA to ply commercially.
“So you as a passenger will not go and enter a vehicle you don’t know. Even uber will have to be registered. Who are these drivers?
“We need to certify them and the security agencies profile them. This is a city. If we don’t have rules, then there will be problems.”
The Minister expressed worry that the FCT does not have vehicle terminals for the various areas of the territory, adding that it is a source of security concern as commuters board vehicles on the road to the detriment of their lives.
“By the grace of God, what we plan to do in this fiscal year is to, at least, start with three terminals so that we know the buses and taxis that will carry people from that terminal so that nobody takes that risk to go on the road to wait for taxis. With that we will be able to reduce crime.
“I am not saying that with the provision of these there will be no crime, no, it is not possible. Anybody that says that is not telling you the truth.”
The Minister who called for more motivation for security operatives to discharge their duties better, stressed the need for stiffer penalties for criminals as part of ways to check criminality in the FCT.
He said that the FCTA will continue to support the security agencies even as he called on the residents to cooperate with the security operatives to secure lives and property in the FCT.

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