Kwara Speaker bemoans growing insecurity, seeks security heads’ support
Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Salihu Yakubu Danladi, has bemoaned growing insecurity in the country, stressing that all hands must be on deck to arrest the tide.
Speaking during his familiarisation visit to heads of security formations in the state, the speaker said that the state is exposed to security threats, particularly, with the upsurge in the mode and scale of criminality in virtually all neighbouring states to Kwara State.
The Speaker, who visited the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Director of the Department of State Security (DSS), Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Zonal Commandant of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the Commander of the Nigeria Airforce, alongside the Deputy Speaker, Majority Leader and Whip of the House, charged security agencies to never hesitate to collaborate with the community and all relevant stakeholders towards guaranteeing a safer Kwara.
Hon Salihu, in his address to the Security Chiefs, acknowledged the good work the various security outfits have been doing to ensure the security of lives and properties of the people of Kwara state.
He, however, noted that with the upsurge in the mode and scale of criminality in virtually all neighbouring states to Kwara State, the state is exposed to serious security threats, hence, the need for collaborative efforts and proactiveness to manage this threat.
"We were not acquainted with banditry but now we have bandits, kidnappers, ritual killers and all sorts in most of the North Central and South Western states.
"Our geographical location exposes us to a time bomb which we must arrest before it explodes. Kwara is a border community to the Northern and Southern axis where there are security crises, we want stronger security presence in these border communities,” he said.
The Speaker added that "there are lots of criminal activities on Ilesha baruba - Gwanara road, some part of the Southern Kwara roads have been reported to be security flashpoints. Our borders are porous and expose us to the security threat, we don't want the peaceful nomenclature of Kwara State to be history". He further advocated for human rights protection in the cause of discharging their duties.
Hon. Salihu said the 9th Assembly was seriously concerned about the issues of street trading, considering the security implications and pledge that he and his colleagues will make efforts to stop it. "As for overloading, and all sorts of traffic offences, by the time there is state cabinet in place, the 9th Assembly will put them on the check to address them," he said.
He added that this new government will change the tides of events, reiterating that “there will be an improvement and the coming years would be better than the last 16 years."
In his remarks, the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Kayode Egbetokun expressed delight to receive leadership of the 9th Kwara Assembly and assured his maximum cooperation. He noted that the Police have been securing the border and communities by engaging the people and repose the confidence of police in the people so they can volunteer useful information.
He added that "apart from border, Kwara has ungoverned forest reserves that are now converted to criminal havens, the criminals being pushed away in South West are infiltrating other neighbouring states, including Kwara and they have raised the alarm to ensure Kwara is not invaded."
He implored the 9th Assembly to use their influence to get government support for the Police, noting they have got almost no support of government since he came. He affirmed that he will continue to "police the police" to ensure they don't extort or abuse human rights.
The Kwara State DSS Director, Abdulmumini Abdullahi in his remarks assured the Command’s support for the 9th Kwara Assembly in areas of the necessary information and intelligence gathering that will aid the delivery of their challenging task.
Abdullahi called for the support of the legislature in term of legislation that will enhance effective intelligence gathering and security efforts, noting that security is a combined responsibility, in terms of legislation that will enhance effective intelligence gathering and security efforts.
The Kwara State NSCDC Commandant, Bello Ale in his reaction said the Hon. Speaker's admonitions have boosted their morales.
Given his experience with the Niger Delta, the NSCDC boss submitted that he was marvelled by the extreme peaceful nature of Kwara State and pledged to uphold that, adding that NSCDC is closer to the grassroots than any other security outfits in the country though with a smaller number. He, however, lamented the lack of government support, noting that "it is only in Kwara that government has not supported their operations but despite that, they have delivered."
The FRSC Zonal Commandant, Asst. Corps Marshal Amauche Nwaka in her own remarks charged the Kwara State House of Assembly on legislation on street trading, reiterating the security implications. She also decried the lack of road signage, vehicles overloading among others which requires legislative approaches to enhance their efforts in ensuring safer roads and highways.
The State Airforce Commander, Air Commodore HB Adamu, in his reaction appreciated the prioritisation of visiting Security Chiefs by the 9th Assembly leadership. He lamented lack of cooperative efforts from the past government of the state, citing delinquency in support provision for Operation Harmony as a reference, he noted that the previous government last contributed to it last year December.
He added that the little resources from the state government are what they use in maintaining the Operation Harmony patrol van and pay soldiers who are participating. He recounted the discovery of illegal miners around Patigi and Kaiama as part of the successes of Operation Harmony.