Drones, CCTVs To Fight Insecurity In Southwest
STATES have won their battle for more muscle to tackle insecurity.
They are to be licensed to use drones for monitoring forests and other hideouts of criminals in their domains.
President Muhammadu Buhari broke the news on Wednesday to Southwest monarchs who were at the State House in Abuja for talks on how to restore security in their region.
He assured the traditional rulers, led by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, that his administration was doing everything possible to tackle security challenges.
With the Ooni were: the Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle; the Akarigbo of Remo, Oba Babatunde Ajayi; the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladelusi Ogunmade, the Olukare of Ikare, Oba Akadiri Saliyu Momoh and the Oloye of Oye-Ekiti, Oba Michael Ademolaju.
There were also the Alake of Egba, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Rasheed Adewale, the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe, the Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Iyiola Matanmi and the Ayangburen of Ikorodu Oba Adewale Shotobi
The President said the Federal Government would continue to partner with states in kitting the police.
Buhari said: “Working with the state governments, we intend to beef up the equipping of the police force with advanced technology and equipment that can facilitate the work of the security agencies.”
The President disclosed that he would be issuing directives to the appropriate federal authorities to speedily approve licensing for state governments requesting the use of drones to monitor forests and other criminal hideouts.
“We also intend to install CCTVs (Close Circuit Televisions) on highways and other strategic locations so that activities in some of those hidden places can be exposed, more effectively monitored and open to actionable review,” he said.
According to the President, the Federal Government will continue to do everything necessary to protect the lives of all Nigerians and ensure that every Nigerian in every state is safe, and that all citizens can live in peace and harmony, regardless of ethnicity, religion or region.
He said: “As a government, we remain committed to the ideals of our democracy, particularly entrenching the rule of law and the sanctity of life.
“We will enforce the law, prosecute law breakers and secure an atmosphere of tranquility for all Nigerians wherever they choose to live and also protect our communities from all forms of crimes.
“This is both in our interests as an administration and the interests of the people who voted us into office. We need security to deliver on our many programmes to the people. There can be no prosperity if there is no security.
“This is not only a message of hope but a call to action to all of us as we seek ways to secure our country.
“On our part, as the Federal Government, we are ready to deal decisively with anyone that is fomenting this spate of criminal activities by every means necessary.
“We intend to deal severely with those evil Nigerians inciting violence for political ends.”
Speaking after the meeting with the President, Oba Ogunwusi confirmed that drones and CCTVs would soon be deployed in the Southwest to boost security.
The royal father told reporters that the President has agreed to fast-track the monitoring of the forests in the region with the use of modern technology.
He also said CCTVs would be mounted on the highways in the region.
Oba Ogunwusi said: “Another milestone we achieved is that Mr. President will fast-track very rapid monitoring of our forests by using the technology of modern standard, the drones. The various security agencies will rally round the Inspector-General (IG) and see how it can be properly deployed.
“Another thing is that they will install CCTV along our highways. The IGP said they are very aggressive about clearing our highways now.
“We believe that with all these, there will be a reduction in the tension in the Southwest because the Southwest is very sensitive in Nigeria.
“We don’t pray for crisis or war or uprising because it will snowball into a lot of things; that is why we are all represented from the six states that make up Southwesten Nigeria.
“We thank God that Mr. President is listening and so far so good, we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”
When asked if the monitoring of the CCTV was factored into the discussion, he said: “Absolutely. This time around, it is a fruitful interactive session. It is not the normal let’s talk the talk; we are talking the work and we are going to walk the talk.
“Because we as traditional rulers we know our people, we know the good, the bad and ugly, and that is why the government is taking it to another level by involving us directly on how to implement their initiatives.”
Police chief Mohammed Adamu and other key security heads were at the closed doors meeting with the President.
According to the Ooni, policemen and officers will be recruited among indigenes and residents of the various communities in the region.
According to him, there will be restructuring of the country’s security architecture.
Oba Ogunwusi said: “Today, the Inspector General of Police was present and the entire security architecture will be restructured; we are very happy about that.
“We were also told about community policing, so the policemen will be recruited from the community, those that were born there, brought up there and they won’t be able to move them around.
“So, we can use that strategy to avert a lot of tension going around the Southwest in particular now. We were able to achieve that milestone.”
He, however, warned that it will be wrong to allow politicians hijack the community policing.
The Oba said: “If they want to start community policing and they give it to politicians, it is not going to work per say; that is why they are involving us. Because, we know the people that are born within our community; we know how to recommend them for this kind of employment; we know the good ones that will be willing to serve their community.
“So, by virtue of doing that, we will have crime reduction in our communities because every community has its own peculiarity.
“So, what government is doing now is a different ball game entirely in Nigeria, it’s never been done before. So we should all work, cooperate with the government and see how they will implement them.
“Because the problem has been if you take police officers to the North, within six months they will shift them to another place in the South. They are not domiciled there and so any time they get there, they depend on the vigilantes, community heads, the Mogagis, the Baales, and all the districts heads, so why can’t you give the jobs to the families of the Mogagis, the Baales, and all the districts heads?
“So, it is a different rejigging and I can assure you the government is very serious now.”
Oba Ogunwusi stressed that any identified bad Fulani must leave the Southwest. He was apparently referring to the call by some groups that Fulani should leave the Southwest. The Ooni attributed the call to the growing tension in the region.
He said: “Well, it’s because of the tension but this time around the traditional rulers have arrived at a resolution to ensure that will not happen. It is the bad ones that should be focused on.
“We all live in Nigeria; it is the bad ones that have come in from different borders that are porous, those are the ones we will focus on to separate the corn from wheat.
“We are saying it is the bad ones that should leave, the bad ones can never stay. Even, Mr. President is with us on that. Even the Fulani clan does not want the bad ones to spoil their name. So, many people are hiding under Fulani to do evil now, so the bad ones must go.”