President Bola Tinubu has approved the immediate procurement of sophisticated security equipment to further combat kidnapping and killings in Abuja.

The Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike disclosed this during an interview with reporters on Monday, January 22.

Wike, who was happy with the president’s action, also said informants recently arrested by security operatives linked to the recent kidnappings and killings in the nation’s capital are giving vital information that could lead to the arrest of others.

The minister who did not give details of the arrested bandits said information obtained from the suspects had led to the arrest of some kidnappers who were paraded by the Police at the weekend.

According to him, security agencies have also been able to foil more attacks, saying the government is not resting on its oars.While he lamented that the lack of adequate equipment in the past had led to recent unpleasant events, Wike said with the emergency procurement approval by the president, the story would now change.

He said: “So many facilities were not provided. Vehicles for the security agencies are not there. You cannot believe that equipment to track criminals is not there. When anything happens, they go back to the Office of the National Security Adviser or 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 piece of 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.

“Again, before we came on board, the police had said that they had requested procurement of a certain number of motorcycles where vehicles cannot get to- the remote and mountainous areas. Unfortunately, they were not provided but we are going to do that now.

“Security is not just the equipment. You also have to motivate the personnel. I don’t want to talk about the strategies because we are talking about security now.

“Assuming Mr. President did not approve this emergency procurement, we had been to the Bureau for Public Procurement since December to allow it to procure under emergency. If you don’t and you have to go through the whole hog of the processes, it can take you two months and that is not what you tell members of the public, that the 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 go 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.”

According to the minister, while the Administration cannot set up its own security agency like the subnational entities, he said the FCTA would however establish a Joint Task Force with a full command and control structure as well as relevant equipment to be able to respond in cases of security emergencies.

He said: “The next thing is to set up a joint security outfit here where they have their 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.

”On the informants, the minister said: “The efforts of our security agencies have yielded the arrests of informants who have told us what they were planning and you should have known too that we have also taken steps but we won’t belabor that. All we can assure you is that you don’t need to panic. Everything is being done to ensure the protection of lives and property.”

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