By Stanley Onyekwere
Residents of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have been admonished to always be very vigilant and conscious of their personal security as law enforcement agencies alone cannot effectively handle security challenges.
This charge was handed down by the FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello, in the wake of seemingly increasing rate of crime in the Territory.
The Minister spoke after the meeting of the FCT Security Committee which comprises of the heads of the police, military and para military formations in the FCT as well as Area Council Chairmen and religious leaders.
In his words: “it is almost impossible for security agencies to be everywhere one hundred percent, so every resident in a way is also a security officer. So, it is very important for residents to be vigilant.
“if for instance, you see a vehicle without number plates, it means that vehicle is not registered and can be used for criminal activities, please report to the relevant authorities.”
According to him, in comparison to several cities around the world, FCT remains quite safe while acknowledging that there were indeed two incidences of kidnappings over the past few weeks, the Minister said both victims have been rescued.
He therefore called on residents to not be swayed by rumours or unverified news online but to confirm their veracity before circulating; adding that fake news or false security information has the capacity to lead to breach of peace.
Similarly, on the issue of communal clashes, he commended the efforts of the Area Council Chairmen and traditional rulers in curbing the herders/farmers clashes and urged them to continue on the path of ensuring peace.
Bello also assured residents that the FCTA will continue to partner and render support to the Nigerian police, the military and para -military commands in the FCT that are charged with the task of keeping the city secure.
Also speaking, the FCT Minister of State Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu called for synergy between all security agencies in the task of combating crime and enforcing security measures in the FCT.
On his part, FCT Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma on his part said that there will be more deployment of officers and men across the city to combat crime.
Ciroma disclosed that the Police were also intensifying both vehicular and foot patrol to ensure more visibility of officers and men of the Force in the city. The raid of black spots he said, will be stepped up.
He echoed the opinion of the FCT Minister when he said that community policing, which involved a robust collaboration between the police and the citizenry will be intensified.
He opined that this method has succeeded in curbing criminality in the Area Councils, especially Abaji where information provided by the citizens stopped a kidnapping ring which operated between Kogi State and the FCT.
Meanwhile, on the menace of “one Chance” the police commissioner said that the criminals perpetrated their acts by using unregistered and unpainted taxis.
He added the police was collaborating with the FCT Directorate of Road Transport Services to apprehend the criminals.
The FCT Police boss also revealed that a unit within the CID was created specifically to combat one chance and so far, over one hundred of suspected one chance perpetrators have been arrested and their vehicles confiscated.