Nigeria: Amid Growing Insecurity in Abuja, Minister Says FCT 'Safe'

18 September 2019

The FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello, on Tuesday urged residents of the territory to be very vigilant and conscious of their personal security.

The minister was responding to the growing insecurity in the nation's capital.

There have been rampant abductions and robbery in many parts of Abuja in recent months. Commuters particularly face the risk of robbery in taxis run by criminals, popularly called "on chance".

Residents have accused the government of not taking action to ensure public safety, and have cited broken infrastructure such as street lighting that appear to help criminals.

Anthony Ogunleye, Chief Press Secretary to the Minister, in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday said Mr Bello gave the advice at the meeting of the FCT Security Committee.

Mr Ogunleye said the committee comprised the Heads of the Police, Military and Para-military formations in the FCT, Area Council Chairmen and religious leaders.

The minister said the Federal Capital Territory was "safe" and called on residents not to leave security matters to the law enforcement agencies alone.

According to him, it is almost impossible for security agencies to be everywhere one hundred per cent.

"So every resident in a way is also a security officer. It is very important for residents to be vigilant and to be very conscious of their personal security.

"If for instance, you see a vehicle without number plate, it means that vehicle is not registered and can be used for criminal activities, please report to the relevant authorities," he said.

Mr Bello said that in comparison to several cities around the world, FCT remained quite safe.

Abductions

He said there were two incidents of kidnappings over the past few weeks, but said the victims had been rescued.

Mr Bello also called on residents not be swayed by rumours or unverified online news but confirm their veracity before circulating them.

He said fake or false news on security information had the capacity to lead to breach of peace.

Mr Bello, however, commended the Area Council Chairmen and traditional rulers in curbing the herders/ farmers clashes and urged them to continue on the path of ensuring peace.

He assured residents that FCTA would continue to partner and render support to the Nigerian police, the military and para -military commands in the FCT charged with the task of keeping the city secure.

Meanwhile, the FCT Minister of State, Ramatu Aliyu, called for synergy between all security agencies in the task of combating crime and enforcing security measures in the FCT.

Police deployment

The FCT Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma, said there would be more deployment of officers and men of the police across the city to combat crime.

He said that the police had intensified vehicular and foot patrol to ensure more visibility of officers and men of the Force in the city.

Mr Ciroma said the measures had succeeded in curbing crime and criminality in the Area Councils, especially Abaji.

He noted that information provided by the citizens of Abaji stopped kidnapping between Kogi and the FCT.

On the menace of "one chance", the police commissioner said the criminals perpetrated their acts by using unregistered and unpainted taxis.

He said the police were collaborating with the FCT Directorate of Road Transport Services to apprehend the criminals.

He also revealed that a unit within the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) was created, specifically, to combat 'one chance', adding that so far, over 100 suspected one chance perpetrators had been arrested and their vehicles confiscated. (NAN)

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