National News

Governor Bello Laments ‘Frustrating’ High Rate of Criminals in Kogi

Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi state, has described the high rate of criminal activities in the state as frustrating.

Speaking when Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, visited him on Tuesday, the governor appealed for support to end the scourge of kidnapping and robbery.

He said the situation was deteriorating as new cases of kidnapping were being reported on a daily basis.

“With the support of the military and other security agencies in the state, the security situation in the state improved tremendously,” he said.

“But the situation has changed, recently new cases are reported on a daily basis and this is frustrating.

“It is so bad that some travellers who hitherto pass through the state have started running away from the state.

“That is why we are soliciting the assistance of the federal government to help us with equipment and the force to clear the hills and forest where they are hiding.”

He said the state government had adopted measures to improve the situation, disclosing that his administration recently launched a security awareness campaign known as `Operation Know Your Neighbour’.

He emphasised the need for citizens to be conscious of happenings around them, saying all buildings linked to any kidnap kingpin would be demolished.

On his part, Buratai said the army would soon deploy special forces to Kogi to help tackle crime in the state.

He said plans for the deployment were at an advanced stage.

“I want to assure you that very soon we will deploy special forces to the state,” he said.

“That is why I came here with the Commander, Army Headquarters Garrison; he is getting them ready and by Monday they should be on ground.

“They will come with their vehicles, they will come with their sustenance, so very soon they will come in and begin the operation.”

He expressed regrets that previous efforts to contain insecurity in the state had failed, but assured the people of the army’s commitment to tackling the security challenge.

He later ordered a review of the tactics in the military operation against kidnappers and other criminals, saying outlaws hiding in the hills and forests must be fished out at all cost.

Buratai gave the order while addressing officers and soldiers at the Chari Maigumeri Barracks in Lokoja.

“You must change the way you operate in the state; you have been trained to operate in the hills and forests, so I expect you to change your tactics,” he said.

“I have spoken to your commander and I am hoping that you will have a new approach to the operations; the approach has to change for the better.

“We provided those motorcycles for you so that you can move deep inside the forest and arrest the criminals; that was the essence of deploying the motorcycle unit to this place.

“We are making efforts to get additional vehicles for you.”

Credit: TheCable