ABDUCTION: Abuja residents should be vigilant ── FCT Minister

MINISTER of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Bello says residents of the nation’s capital should be vigilant and be conscious of their personal security as kidnappers make inroad into Abuja.

“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,” Bello said in Abuja on Tuesday after the meeting of the FCT Security Committee.

“So, it is very important for residents to be vigilant…to to be very conscious of their personal security. If for instance, you see a vehicle without number plates, it means that vehicle is not registered and can be used for criminal activities, please report to the relevant authorities,” he added.”

The Security Committee comprises the police, military and para-military formations in the FCT as well as Area Council Chairmen and religious leaders.

While admitting that there were recent cases of kidnapping in the city, the Minister insisted that Abuja, “remains quite safe,”compared to other cities of the world.

Five persons were reportedly kidnapped in Abuja over the weekend, police confirmed two cases as the victims were released or rescued. There has been growing fear among the residents on the state of security in the territory.

Bello said that in comparison to several cities around the world, FCT remains quite safe. While acknowledging that there were indeed two incidences of kidnappings over the past few weeks, the Minister said both victims have been rescued.

He called on residents to not be swayed by rumours or unverified news online but to confirm their veracity before circulating. Fake news or false security information has the capacity to lead to breach of peace, he said.

On the issue of communal clashes, he commended the efforts of the Area Council Chairmen and traditional rulers in curbing the herders/farmers clashes and urged them to continue on the path of ensuring peace.

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

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

The FCT Commissioner of Police Bala Ciroma on his part said that there would be more deployment of officers and men across the city to combat crime.

He revealed that the police have also intensified both vehicular and foot patrol to ensure more visibility of officers and men of the Force in the city. The raid of black spots he said, will be stepped up.

Ciroma echoed the opinion of the  Minister when he said that community policing, which involved a robust collaboration between the police and the citizenry will be intensified.

This method, he said,  has succeeded in curbing criminality in the Area Councils, especially Abaji where information provided by the citizens stopped a kidnapping ring which operated between Kogi State and the FCT.

On the menace of “one chance” the Police Commissioner said that the criminals perpetrate their acts by using unregistered and unpainted taxis.

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

Ciroma also revealed that a unit within the CID was created specifically to combat one chance and so far, over one hundred of suspected one chance perpetrators have been arrested and their vehicles confiscated.

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