Insecurity: Governor Sani Bello Wants More Roles/Upgrade for Local Vigilantes 

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Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State advocated the rework and review  of the Nigerian intelligence network to enhance intelligence gathering and fight against crimes and criminality. 

The Governor gave the suggestion during a discussion panel at the 2nd Shinkafi Intelligence and Security Summit organized by the Umaru Shinkafi Legacy Foundation, held in Abuja.  

The theme of the Summit was “Socio-economic Implications of kidnapping and banditary in Nigeria”. 

Governor Sani Bello who gave an insight of how his state is suffering greatly from insecurity since the inception of his administration, explained how his government tried reconciliatory approach which did not scale through as it was discovered that the perpetrators are mere criminals, who are not ready to change their criminal behaviours owing to its lucrative nature.  

He said on that basis, his government took a decision not to pay ransom to the criminals, pointing out that the criminals have grown into a very formidable network with handy informants.  

According to the Governor,  “when we have tip-off and troops are deployed, the bandits get wind of their movement and relocate.” 

On the issue of State Police, Governor Sani Bello said, it is an idea, whose time has come because Nigeria’s population has increased tremendously, “we can’t continue to avoid the issue of state police forever, even if it’s not now certainly, sometimes to come because Nigeria’s population has gone beyond 200 million. 

He weighed-in on the role of traditional rulers and religious leaders, who he described as the best security network. “In tackling kidnapping and banditry, the role of traditional rulers and religious leaders in our society cannot be over-emphasised. Traditional rulers and religious leaders should be supported to effectively check their domains and subjects. Also, our religious leader have immense  influence over worshippers.” 

While commending the Foundation for sustaining the legacies of  Alhaji Umaru Ali Shinkafi, Governor Sani Bello described Shinkafi as a sterling Police officer, astute lawyer and professional security expert, whose footprints still radiate in our contemporary security situations today.     

He insisted that incorporating  vigilantes in fighting insecurity is the way to go. But insisted that the members must be properly trained and people of impeccable characters should be recruited.  

Governor Babagana Umara Zulum, Waziri Aminu Tambuwal, Hope Uzodimma; Segun Awosanya,  Halifax Zara’u Idris were part of the discussion panel moderated by Prof. Mahmud Jega.

They all stressed  the need for government at all levels to ensure access to functional education, food, health and youths engagement in order to curtail insecurity in the country.  

They equally highlighted that all relevant security institutions should collaborate in fighting the war against banditry,  kidnapping and other 21st century crimes. 

The Emir of Zauzau Amb Ahmed Nuhu Bamali, who addressed the gathering virtually, described  Shinkafi as a man of impeccable character and commended the organizers of the event.