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Tinubu Has Approved Emergency Procurement of Kidnapper-Tracking Equipment, Says FCT Minister Wike 

He said informants led to the arrest of kidnappers paraded by the police over the weekend.

The Minister of the FCT, Nyesom Wike, has disclosed that President Bola Tinubu had given an approval for emergency procurement of digital tracking devices to track the operations of kidnappers in the nation’s capital.

He stated this on Monday at an interface with the media without going into the details.

But a former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Bode George, has called on President Bola Tinubu to immediately wade into the problem increasing insecurity to protect the continuing unity of the nation.

However, lamenting dearth of equipment in the past, Wike said the tide would now turn against kidnappers with the emergency procurement approval by the president.

The minister said cues from some informants led to the arrest of some kidnappers, who were paraded by the police over the weekend.

He also said the informants recently arrested by security agencies in the territory were cooperating and providing actionable intelligence to the authorities, who had succeeded in using the intelligence to foil more attacks.

“So many facilities were not provided. Vehicles for the security agencies were not there. You cannot believe it that equipment to track criminals were not there.

“When anything happens, they go back to the Office of the National Security Adviser or to the Force Headquarters. That is not the way it is supposed to be.

“When I was the governor of Rivers State, the DSS told me they wanted a particular equipment. We were the only state that had it then. In fact, sometimes the headquarters asked for its use.

“That is a special equipment they needed and that equipment, we know how expensive it is but we had it and that was able to help us reduce the level of crime. It was able to track the specific phones not one that would say for example the criminals are around the city here.

“With that equipment, it was specific. It can track a particular phone to the exact spot or room. So, what we have done with the approval of 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,” Wike said.

He asserted that when he was appointed minister, the police had complained that their request for certain number of motorcycles to enable them access remote and mountainous communities, was not honoured.

He assured the people that they would now procure the logistics, saying security was not about the equipment but about having to motivate the personnel.

“I don’t want to talk about the strategies because we are talking security now. 

Assuming Mr President did not approve this emergency procurement, we had been to the Bureau for Public Procurement since December to allow us to procure under emergency.

“If you don’t and you have to go the whole hog of the processes, it can take you two months and that is not what you tell members of the public, that procurement process is a problem. No.

“The basic thing is having identified all these and the security agencies have told us this is what they require, we had 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. Before you get to your headquarters, something else would have happened.

“But if you have this equipment, you don’t need to seek approval of your headquarters to begin to seek equipment to track the criminals,” Wike stated.

He stressed that the FCTA would seek to establish a Joint Task Force with a full command and control structure as well as relevant equipment to be able to respond in event of security emergencies as that would make up for its inability to set up up its own security agency like other sub national entities.

“The next thing is to set up a joint security outfit here where they have their own structure and equipment so that if anything happens, the task force will know it is their function to move in.

“Yes it will cost us some funds and it will take us some time but what is important is that we have identified that this is a lacuna that we have to cover,” he said.

He urged FCT residents not to panic as everything would be done to ensure the protection of lives and property.

Wike said the efforts of security agencies had led to the arrest of some informants, who disclosed some of the plans they were hatching.

George: Insecurity Questioning Nation’s Unity

Following the recent spate of kidnappings, killings and robberies across the country, Chief Bode George, has called on President Bola Tinubu to immediately wade into the problem to protect the continuing unity of the nation.

The former military governor of old Ondo State and former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), lamented the escalation of insecurity and the recent waves of kidnappings terrorising Nigerians, saying it has become imperative for us to address the critical questions Nigerians were asking.

“The pertinent question Nigerians are asking today is: ‘What exactly is going on in our country?’

“Nigerians are looking to the government to instill security amidst the fear and atrocious crimes being committed in Nigeria, which is destroying the security and stability of our nation, making Nigeria very volatile and a threat to  the personal safety of  Nigerians.

“The sudden increase and high prevalence rate of innocent lives lost, suffered by Nigerians communities is not only tragic but has made it almost impossible to attract the much-needed international economic investment that can only prevail in a politically stable environment

George said Nigerians were perpetually engulfed with fear and asking, “What is happening to the government in power? Why are they refusing to put the national security of this nation front and centre of their political agenda? The government of the day has failed Nigerians once again.

“With the recent killing of more than 200 people in Plateau State during the Christmas season, in addition to the rampant abduction of citizens everyday, Nigerians are now forced to look for tens of millions of naira in cash to pay off ransoms. I am also asking the same critical question: Whither Nigeria?

“The fundamental duty of government, anywhere in the world, is the protection of lives and property of its citizens. It also must put adequate well-coordinated security plans that prioritise national security and ensures an atmosphere; peaceful and conducive for its citizens.

“Pitiably, this is not the case in our country today. On the roads, on the farms, in the market, even in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the seat of government, it seems terrorists and kidnappers have now taken the battle to the city of power.

“What is the government doing to eliminate this plague of insecurity in the land? How do we develop the economy and catapult economic growth when Nigerians and foreigners/investors have become endangered species in the hands of killers?”

Chuks Okocha, Olawale Ajimotokan and Segun James

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