“Security reports have shown that we are making progress, and we will continue to support them (security agents)in terms of logistics and technology” – Gov Uba Sani
By Nasir Dambatta
Three smart moves by Governor Uba Sani recently, on the challenge of insecurity in Kaduna State remain quite striking. Number one, was his novel policy of complimenting the numerical strength of security agents in the State, with 7, 000 more vigilante service personnel. Striking too, was his revelation after the last State Security Council Meeting, that the war on banditry and allied crimes has been going on steadily and is paying off.
Number two, was his pledge to ensure reintegration of the last freed captive of the Baptist School banditry attack – the young boy named Treasure. Recall that Treasure was guided by Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Chairman, Reverend John Joseph Hayab, the Baptist Bethel Management and other respected clerics to visit Sir Kashim House. Reverend John Joseph Hayab, who spoke on behalf of the Christian delegation that led the young boy named Treasure, his family, Baptist Bethel school management and other high ranking Christian officials commended Governor Uba Sani, for giving Security Priority attention. He also applauded the Governor for employing 7,000 youth into the Kaduna State Vigilance Service.
Number three, was the disclosure by the governor that plans have reached advanced stage, for the resettlement of persons displaced by banditry attacks, from Birnin Gwari up to Igabi Local Governments.
The governor said: “Fighting insecurity is the number one agenda of this administration because we believe, without resolving the security challenges, we might not be able to achieve all the development agenda of our government.”
He minced no words in restating his administration’s commitment towards the safety of citizens of the State. Hear him: “We have invested a lot in the area of development, but I believe addressing the problem of insecurity is key and as a government, we have to ensure that our people live in a secured environment”.
His avowal that the state government would continue to fight bandits, insurgents and other criminals elements terrorising Birnin Gwari and Southern Kaduna axis, was as inspiring to the people of Kaduna State as the release of N3.1billion to retirees and families with legitimate death claims for deceased people that diligently served the State.
It was therefore heartwarming, that the governor himself expressed elation over the fact that security reports had proved that the administration has been recording tremendous progress. All the more exciting, was the governor’s renewed pledge to continue to support security agents in terms of logistics and technology.
The deft moves by the governor to sustain the tempo of partnership with Operation Safe Heaven under the command of the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 3 Division, Nigerian Army, Kaduna, for the successful resettlement of the displaced victims, is undoubtedly a masterstroke.
The governor reassured Kaduna citizens: “We are working together with OPSH under the command of the GOC 3 Division, General Abdulsalam Abubakar for the resettlement of displaced southern Kaduna communities.
“This is because the security and safety of our people is a fundamental human right of the people. It is not something that government needs to think twice before doing”, he pointed out.
With an unwavering determination for the resettlement of Internally-Displaced Persons ( IDPs) in Kaduna it should not be difficult to see that Governor Uba Sani truly means business as a masses-friendly leader. His caring disposition towards the IDPs did not start today. As Senator representing Kaduna Central, he was on record as the only elected official who spent millions, provided foodstuff and other basic needs for the IDPs at regular intervals. He even went a notch further by providing operational vehicles for the security agents around the IDP camps in Kaduna State. No wonder he earned the title of ‘Kaduna IDPs Guardian’. So also was he to the widows and orphans of Kaduna, but this is a topic for another day.
Asked why he was pursuing the resettlement of IDPs so vigorously, he replied : “It is our responsibility to make sure that everyone that was displaced as a result of insecurity is returned to homes safely”.
In terms of villages razed or destroyed, the administration will rebuild them, probably ahead of the final resettlement exercise. “Where they need to be supported in terms of rebuilding their community, we will do that”, the governor stressed, while responding to questions about destroyed totally-communities.
The top echelon of security agents have also reiterated the governor’s plan to do the needful. General Officer Commanding (GOC) 3rd, Division of the Nigerian Army, said the first phase of the resettlement will start with 15 communities, in one piece.
In the GOC’s words: “What we did at the meeting was to review the security situation in Kaduna state, but for me, I am responsible for Southern Kaduna.”
He then explained: “So, what we are planning to do right now is to resettle about 15 communities back to their ancestral homes. But, they will be needing some logistics which the government will be providing to enable them settle and start their normal lives once again”.
Among matters arising from the visit of CAN and the last freed captive of Baptist Bethel School is an overhaul of the security architecture to reflect the challenges to the safety of lives in Kaduna schools. The governor revealed that some steps would definitely be taken in that direction.
Notable among such steps is the fencing of schools,
establishment of Security and Safety Response Committees consisting of people from within the schools and host communities as Steersmen.
Other steps include the deployment of Kaduna Vigilance Service (KADVS) for policing the school environment and availing them of emergency call lines in the event of any form of pilfering or serious security breach.
Furthermore, the administration will occasionally midwife a security and awareness training for both the teaching and non-teaching staff of the schools. These and a lot more, form the administration’s fulcrum of a holistic approach to the safety and security challenge in Kaduna schools.
It is now abundantly clear, from the latest interventions in these three key areas, that Governor Uba Sani has an unwavering determination to give Kaduna a befitting outlook in terms of safety and security, just like he was doing in some way, prior to his emergence as governor.
Dambatta is Senior Special Assistant (Print Media) to the Governor of Kaduna State