As Nigeria continues to battle raging insecurity challenges, ranging from banditry, kidnapping and terrorism, many state governors are devising measures to keep their state safe secure and complements the efforts of the federal government and the security agencies who are apparently overstretched with fighting too many battles.
That was the concern of Kwara state governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq who last week called for increased presence of policemen and other security officials in the state to fortify the state and enhance its socio-economic development.
Already the efforts of the governor in ensuring peace in the state widely referred to as Home of Harmony has yielded much fruits as Kwara State is a relatively peaceful state, except for some isolated cases of kidnapping, cultism and armed robbery which is expected in any society as nowhere in the world is completely crime-free.
Speaking while addressing the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba who was in the state last week on a one-day official visit, Governor Abdulrazak who requested for more security personnel in the state, said Kwara is beginning to feel the heat of insecurity as many herdsmen who have been banned in Southern states have migrated to Kwara. This according to him is overstretching the security personnel in the state.
“Our challenges are enormous. Being a relatively safe state, security agencies tend to be comfortable with Kwara and that explains why they often take out forces from Kwara to bolster security elsewhere. For example, the Army has taken out most of their men to Northeast and we are making efforts to get them back. For the police, our need requirement is about 8,000-10,000 men but we have only about 3,000 now. Many officers of the two mobile squadrons here have been moved out. I am saying this because we definitely need more men on ground here,”
“The recent ban on grazing by Southern Governors and some security issues in our neighbouring states have resulted in influx of internally displaced persons to Kwara. In many parts of some of our villages, the communities are outnumbered by those that are coming in. This is a state of harmony and people are welcome but this (influx) is clearly overstretching the manpower of the Nigeria Police which is the primary agency for internal security. From Kwara North to Kwara South, it is an enormous task for them, so we definitely need and seek more hands.”
AbdulRazaq also called for improved collaboration among security agencies to sustain relative peace in the state, with the traditional rulers equally playing vital roles in strengthening security architecture.
“We thank the Police authorities for the Police School in Ballah and the Intelligence School in Share. In fact, we had to put a transformer there few months ago to make sure we get the place working. But we are saddened by the relocation of Police Public Relations School that was here in Ilorin before. We hope you will look into that again and return it.”
AbdulRazaq who praised the police and other security agencies for making the state relatively safe for economic activities, added that the state is living up to its name as a State of Harmony as many Nigerians who have been displaced in their homes due to insecurity challenges have found a resting place in Kwara state.
“We appreciate your efforts for keeping this state safe. Now we have peace and people are coming to live in Kwara State. Now we have four airlines coming to the state and the economy of the state is booming, hotels are often filled and rent (in houses) are going up,” the Governor said.