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We’re Deploying Technology to Tackle Security Threats, Buhari Tells S/West Monarchs

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By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday in Abuja assured traditional rulers from the South West geopolitical zone that his administration was doing everything possible to tackle security challenges in the country. 

Responding to an address by the Obas led by the Ooni of Ife , Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi during a courtesy visit to the State House, the President said:

“Working with the State governments we intend to beef up the equipping of the police force with advanced technology and equipment that can facilitate the work of the security agencies.

”  

The President disclosed that he “will be issuing directives to the appropriate federal authorities to speedily approve licensing for States requesting the use of drones to monitor forests and other criminal hideouts,” adding that, “We also intend to install CCTVs on highways and other strategic locations so that activities in some of those hidden places can be exposed, more effectively monitored and open to actionable review.

He spoke further: 

“This administration will continue to do everything necessary to protect the lives of all Nigerians and ensure that every Nigerian in every state is safe, and that our people can live in peace and harmony, regardless of ethnicity, religion or region. As a government, we remain committed to the ideals of our democracy, particularly entrenching the rule of law and the sanctity of life.”

He also assured the royal fathers “and the entire nation that we will enforce the law, prosecute law breakers and secure an atmosphere of tranquility for all Nigerians whereever they choose to live and also protect our communities from all forms of crimes. This is both in our interests as an administration and the interests of the people who voted us into office. 

“We need security to deliver on our many programmes to the people. There can be no prosperity if there is no security.

“This is not only a message of hope but a call to action to all of us as we seek ways to secure our country.

“On our part, as the Federal Government, we are ready to deal decisively with anyone that is fomenting this spate of criminal activities by every means necessary. We intend to deal severely with those evil Nigerians inciting violence for political ends.”

While acknowledging the presence of significant security challenges in the South West and other parts of the country, President Buhari said  such  understanding informed the ongoing consultations embarked by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo with some traditional rulers “so that together we can proffer solutions to the lingering security problems in the South-West and other parts of the country.”

According to the President, “These consultations are important because traditional rulers form a critical part of governance structures, especially in their respective communities, where they feel the pulse of the people being the closest to the populace at the grassroots level.

“As a government, at all times, we need your active collaboration as we continue to deal with crimes of kidnapping, banditry and other forms of unlawful and criminal attacks resulting in needless deaths and causing fear among our people.”

“There are some who might want to cause instability and difficulties, but we are very confident that God willing and working together as a nation, we will be able to overcome such difficulties and all our problems, and set our country on the path of peace and prosperity,” he stated.

Drawing attention to the fact that “the dynamics for safeguarding security keep changing,” President Buhari noted that “we must adapt our strategies to these challenges as well as adopt modern, technological and people-centred methods in achieving these goals.”

According to the President, “When Nigerians voted massively for us in 2015, we focused on three areas – security, economy and fighting corruption. We have not relented on this promise and we will not.”

Going forward, he declared: “Let me be very clear about our firm resolve to change the security architecture of Nigeria. It is one of the top priorities for this government but we won’t be able to achieve this goal without the support and input of you, our royal fathers.

“As the traditional authorities in your communities, government and the security agencies will be relying on you to monitor the several different communities and people coming in and out of your areas.

“We hope that, for instance, traditional rulers would be able to observe new entrants into the community by requesting leaders of such ethnic groups to notify the traditional authorities of new intakes, thereby creating the opportunities for the gathering of actionable intelligence which tracks such movements in and out of communities thereby offering early warning signals.”

Outlining some of these interventions, President Buhari said they “include an expedited commencement of community policing, a robust revamping of police intelligence gathering capacity and the significant boosting of the numbers of security personnel in our local communities. This in specific terms will include recruiting a lot more police officers and doing so right from their local government areas, where they would then be stationed in the best practice of community policing.” 

According to him, “We will equally continue to bring in our military when needed to complement the work of the police including possible deployment of troops on certain highways on a temporary basis, and the use of the Air Force assets to bomb hideouts where criminals are located.” 

Admitting that these measures are inter-related and have to be well coordinated, he stressed that, “The speedy implementation of community policing will facilitate a more effective collection of intelligence. This is especially in the area of a more useful and effective intelligence gathering process that traditional rulers will play some of the most critical roles.”

Earlier, the Ooni, as well as other traditional rulers with him,  had individually apprised the President with security challenges they were facing in their domain and called on the President to support their efforts in addressing the issues.

CRIME

Three Dead  in Kubwa Violent Clash

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By Laide Akinboade, Abuja

Three persons, including two women and a young boy, have reportedly been killed in a clash between local scavengers, otherwise referred to as Baban Bola, and residents of the Byazhin community, in Kubwa, Bwari Area Council of the FCT.

An eyewitness, who identified herself as Jessica Adam, said a Baban Bola element attempted to steal a woman’s pot of soup, but was overpowered and beaten up after the woman alerted neighbours and passers-by.

The embittered baban bola then went away and mobilised hoodlums who returned at about 8:00 pm wielding weapons including machetes, clubs, and stones and began attacking residents at random, eventually killing the woman whose pot of soup was earlier stolen.

In the continuing attack, two others, a woman and a young boy, reported to be passers-by who unfortunately ran into the middle of the crisis, were also killed, they however, have yet yet to be identified.

“They killed two people yesterday. The Community has been in chaos since yesterday. The crisis continued till this morning when they killed somebody again. So far, three persons have been killed and many injured. The Police intervened and restored normalcy, but no arrest was made. The Police have intensified their patrol in the Byazhin area of Kubwa to prevent them from regrouping”, Ms Adams narrated.

A resident in the community, who spoke with Daily Asset, on the condition of anonymity, also confirmed the death of the three persons but said he had no clue as to what may have started the clash.

“Yes, the riot started yesterday. And by this morning, we learnt that three persons have been killed. It happened in Byazhin around that Millionaire’s Quarters, behind that Living Faith Church. That place is usually dangerous, because it is quite lonely, and you cannot pass through there alone, especially in the evening”, he said.

As of the time of filing this report, PUNCH Metro gathered that schools and shops in the area have been closed down, as parents scampered to pick up kids from their classrooms, and shops refused to open as of Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, efforts to reach the Police Public Relations Officer of the FCT Police Command, SP Josephine Adeh, proved abortive, as her number was repeatedly unreachable.

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CRIME

Okuama Crisis: Reps Assures Justice as Committee Commences Probe

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From Mike Tayese, Yenagoa

The House of Representatives has said it will ensure the crisis in Okuama Community, Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State is brought to a logical conclusion.

Chairman, House Committee on Defence, Rep. Babajimi Benson, gave the assurance while addressing newsmen on Thursday, at the Governor’s Office Annexe in Warri.

Benson led other members of the committee to a public hearing on the carnage that occurred in Okuama Community in Delta resulting to the death of 17 soldiers and consequent destruction of properties.

The committee convened on Thursday at the Governor’s Office Annexe in Warri without the presence of the locals in attendance.

It would be recalled that the investigative hearing was in line with the 10th Assembly House of Representatives’ resolution of March 19, 2024.

The resolution was prompted by the March 14 massacre of 17 soldiers in the Okuama Community.

The lawmaker said that the committee had so far received about 23 memorandum from stakeholders.

“We came to see members of the community in camera and by way of memorandum. We have received a lot of memorandum from them but they have not turn up physically.

“We have gotten enough memorandum and we intend to work with the memorandum. Though, the window is opened till Friday next week, so we are still expecting more from them.

“We have assured everyone including the Delta State that the House of Representatives will ensure the matter is looked into from both sides and come to a logical conclusion.

“That is why we are asking them to send memoranda and they are complying. We gave them a week and the period will elapse on Friday.

“If you do not want to show up, please send us your documents so that we will be able to act on them, and get to a logical conclusion,” Benson appealed.

The legislator said that the committee was fully ready to ensure that justice was done on the matter.

On why the committee could not visit the troubled Okuama Community, the lawmaker said that the activities of the committee regarding the crisis had not ended.

According to him, the committee will visit the locals and also invite the military to give account of what happened at the community.

“We are definitely going to meet the locals but we are going to arm ourselves with information,” he said.

Among the 10-man committee was Rep. Francis Waive, member representing Ughelli North/Ughelli South and Udu Federal Constituency.

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CRIME

Gunmen Attack Ortom’s Ex-Chief-of-Staff, Abduct Wife

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Suspected armed Fulani herdsmen on Friday, attacked former Chief of Staff to Benue State Governor, Honorable Terwase Orbunde, and abducted his wife and house help.

Orbunde, a former governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic (PDP) in Benue state served under the administration of the immediate past Governor of the state, Dr Samuel Ortom.

The attack, it was learnt took place close to the “Genocide Cemetery” along Mobile Barracks-Welfare Quarters Road in Makurdi, the state capital at about 6.

00 PM.

The former Chief of Staff escaped with a gunshot on his right arm, while the attackers whisked away his wife, Mrs Abigail Kashimana Orbunde and her house help, Patience Ogute.

Eyewitnesses told DAILY ASSET that Orbunde, his wife and the house help, had gone to inspect the their farm when the incident happened.

The eyewitnesses said after the inspection of the work and payment of the workers five gunmen suddenly attacked their victims as they walked back to their car.

The attackers were said to have opened fire and Orbunde received a bullet on the right arm, while they ordered him and the women to follow them to an unknown destination.

The shooting was said to have caused villagers and passersby to scamper for safety in different directions.

As they marched along, the former Chief of Staff was said to be bleeding profusely, witnesses further said.

The witnesses who watched from a distance said the leader of the group ordered him to walk away while the gunmen took the women to an unknown destination.

An unidentified ‘good Samaritan’ was said to have conveyed the former Chief of Staff to an undisclosed hospital for medical attention.

The State Police Commnad could not be reached for comments at the time of this report.

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