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Insecurity in FCT: Wike says unpainted taxis, buses to be banned, reveals Tinubu has approved procurement of Kidnapper-Tracking equipment
He stated this on Monday at an interface with the media without going into the details.
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.
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Nyesom Wike, says the FCT Administration will soon ban unpainted taxis and buses from plying roads in the nation’s capital.
Wike, who disclosed this during a media chat in Abuja, explained that the move was to address the incidence of ‘one chance’ in the city.
The minister, who said the menace of one chance had been curtailed, added that stricter measures were necessary to end the trend in the FCT.
“We are not going to allow vehicles that are not painted with FCT colour and registered by the FCTA to ply commercial in the territory.
“That way, you know the driver is certified by the FCT and the buses and the taxes were also approved by the FCT.
“When this is done, you as the passenger will not take the risk of going to enter any vehicle that you don’t even know,” he said.
Wike added that Uber operators would also need to register to operate in Abuja, so that the government would know their identities.
He also said that the drivers needed to be certified and profiled by the security agencies.
“This is a city, if you don’t have rules, there will be problems,” he added.
The minister expressed concern that the capital territory did not have an official terminal where residents can go and board a bus to a specific destination.
“That way, you know the drivers and the vehicle that you are entering.
“But currently, everybody is just on the road. You are going to Nyanya, a car is on the road, you enter; you are going to Wuye, a car is on the road you enter.
“What we are trying to do in the 2024 fiscal year is to at least build three terminals for a start, so that we will know the buses and taxes that will carry people from such terminals.
“When this is done nobody will take the risk of going on the road to wave for a taxi. That way, you will be able to reduce crime,” he said.
Arise News/Daily Trust
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