By Joy Odor
Barely two days after ordering the closure of schools, Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has convened an emergency security council meeting, with a view to reviewing the security situation in the state and take appropriate actions.
The emergency security meeting held at the Nasarawa Government House, on Friday.
In his opening remarks, Engineer Sule said the essence of the meeting was to take proactive measures considering the security situation in the country and particularly within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), where over 800 inmates escaped from the Kuje correctional facility recently.
This is even as the Governor recalled that some of the escaping inmates were arrested in the state.
Engineer Sule equally, raised alarm over noticed movements of suspected bandits fleeing from Niger, Zamfara, Kebbi and Kaduna states, with large movements of these fleeing bandits identified in Rugan Juli and Rugan Madaki both in Karu Local Government Area, as well as in Wamba and Toto local government areas.
He confirmed that security reports indicate that, following the influx of these suspected bandits, there has been noticeable increase in cases of kidnapping within the last two months.
The Governor said based on this development, coupled with the ongoing efforts of his administration, it has become necessary to convene the meeting, with a view to renewing strategies to confront the challenges.
“We believe it’s very necessary to call this meeting in view of some of the security challenges we are beginning to see. As usual, the government decided to be proactive and in order to be proactive, we have to also join in calling for this meeting, so that we can share ideas,” he said.
He used the opportunity to shed more light on why the state government decided to order for the closure of schools, stressing that the decision followed the outcome of an earlier meeting with some security chiefs, viewed against the level of movements of suspected bandits.
Engineer Sule said the decision to shutdown schools, except those writing their final NECO examination, was to forestall any eventualities.
He said arrangement has been put in place to beef up security where students are still writing examinations.
The Governor appreciated the security agencies operating in the state, as well as traditional rulers, for their continued roles, towards addressing security challenges.
Shortly after the meeting, the state commissioner of police, Adesina Soyemi, Lafia Local Government Area Chairman, Hon Aminu Muazu Maifata, the Etsu Karu, HRH Pharmacist Luka Panya Baba and the Chun Mada, HRH Samson Gamu Yare, took time to brief journalists on the outcome of the emergency security meeting.
CP Soyemi said that, following the increase in cases of kidnapping in recent times across the state, the council has decided that the securitymen should endeavour to increase their patrol and raids, so that all these bad people will be brought back to book.
He noted that, the council also urged all good people of Nasarawa State, to work together so that suspected bandits would not be allowed to take up residence in the state to cause problem.
The police commissioner added that the council resolved that, any information gathered, should be immediately transmitted to necessary security agencies, while also acknowledging the work of the traditional rulers and thanking them for the good thing they have been doing.
On his part, Chairman, Lafia Local Government Area, Hon Aminu Muazu Maifata, disclosed that, the council reiterated the importance of the local government councils chairmen, to continue to cooperate, collaborate and work in harmony with the traditional institutions and security agents in general, with a view to sustain the level of peaceful coexistence and good level of security in the state.
“And there’s also need, for the councils to always try to sensitize people at the grassroots, always try to carry along each and every trade union and the likes on the importance of security. And for people to always report any suspicious movement within their communities to the traditional rulers, security agents or local government information unit as soon as they observed such,” he stated.
Hon Maifata, who doubles as the Chairman of the Association of Local Government Chairmen (ALGON), restated the commitment of the councils to continue to work in this direction so that the security challenges can be tackled head-on.
Also briefing the press, the Etsu Karu, HRH Pharmacist Luka Panya Baba, said the council reviewed the crucial role played by traditional leaders in the state, towards ensuring that security is adequately sustained.
“We have discussed and traditional leaders have pledged to use all the available arsenals in our various localities, using our local vigilante groups, traditional hunters, to see how we can gather useful information for onward transmission to the various security agencies so that appropriate action will be taken,” the Etsu Karu said.
The Chun Mada, HRH Samson Gamu Yare, while briefing the press, highlighted on the decision of the council for the security agencies to collaborate and synergize, with the traditional institutions, towards creating awareness amongst various communities, for the people to be more security conscious and to report any suspicious movement to appropriate authority.
The royal father disclosed that, while commending the efforts of the security agencies, announced that the Governor has made known his intention to distribute operational vehicles to security agencies in the state next week, towards enhancing the fight against crime and criminality.
“This is quite a commendable effort and it is expected of us, that as good citizens, to join hands together and cooperate with the security agencies by divulging intelligence information so as to assist in fighting the menace that has bedeviled this nation,” he stated.