The World is battling to overcome insecurity which has become a daily occurrence with Nations, States and Local Communities putting in place sound measures to nip the ugly trend in the bud.
How effective these measures are will go a long way in determining how the World, Nations, States and Local Communities are prepared to halt the various crimes bedeviling them.
Can Plateau State urgently design its own strategy considering the rising crime rate and in line with its peculiarity to tackle the insecurity bedeviling it? This is because people and communities are no longer safe, tranquil and secured as they now live in perpetual fear and pains.
Presently, herdsmen attacks, banditry kidnapping, Boko Haram, armed robbery, rape and other forms of crime have potent huge threat to the internal security of Nigeria.
People have lost huge funds paid as ransoms even as others are being dispossessed of finances and other valuables in Billions of Naira through criminal activities.
The rising spate of crime especially kidnapping, cultism and other organized crimes are adversely affecting economic activities, social wellbeing and livelihood in the State.
The high crime rate calls for urgent steps to be taken and continuous proactive disposition of those saddled with the responsibility of maintaining law and order as well as enhancing National security.
While there have been major breakthroughs through the efforts of the security agencies in the State, a lot need to be done to contain the increasing rate of crime.
People are still being killed almost on daily basis in our hinterlands with many people losing their lands to attackers with little or no hope in sight of recovering same. The situation is pathetic, sad and worrisome.
We have witnessed the parade of suspected cultists, kidnappers, armed robbers, drug barons and other criminal elements who were arrested by security agencies such as Operation Safe Haven, Nigerian Police Force, NSCDC, NDLEA etc.
There are areas in Plateau State that are facing serious security challenges such as Lamingo, Dong, Apata, Janta Adamu, Kabong, Rukuba Road, Angwan Rukuba, Angwan Rogo, Rikkos, Gangare, Congo/Russia, Tudun Wada etc. The people in the mentioned areas are living in constant fear as the level of crime has overwhelmed them.
There are areas where people are being kidnapped on daily basis and heavy amounts are being spent by people to secure the release of their loved ones. Some of the mentioned areas have given up and at living at the mercy of the criminal elements.
In some areas visited, complaints emerged that the security personnel do arrive scene of crime when the criminals have carried out their activities and fled owing to logistic issues.
Some busy areas become ghost town at 7pm without economic, social and religious activities they are known for owing to the activities of criminal elements. People are scared to go out at night in order not to be robbed of their valuables.
In some cases, criminal activities are carried out in broad daylight as shop owners are robbed while people are robbed of their belongings.
Kidnapping and hired assassination has taken another dimension outside the State Capital especially in Bokkos, Kanam, Mangu LGAs.
What is required include improvement on the part of the security agencies in the State, support to security agencies and cooperation by the social elements of the society.
Owing to the role security plays in the security, government must invest considerably well in it. The various security agencies in the State must be supported to perform optimally and produce desired results, while government should be seen demonstrating the will power to rid the State of crime. Government must make available the needed logistical supports to security agencies in order to assist them in performing their duty of crime fighting.
The State needs to be peaceful, safe and secured before the economy will boom and prosper. Without the security of lives and investments (property) of the citizens which is the cardinal duty of government, no meaningful progress will be made in the society.
There is need for government to deploy proactive, robust and workable security system in major areas to track criminal elements. This could be done through the installation of high tech surveillance gadgets and constant patrol by security personnel of red flag areas.
The social elements of the society (people) must be ready to provide the necessary information to the appropriate authority for action. There is therefore need for robust and reliable intelligence information gathering and sharing between the public and security agencies.
The general public should synergize with security agencies and be seen as partners in progress since the criminal elements live in the society and most well known while the limited security personnel are not ghost to be everywhere at all time.
With the Plateau State Government core policy thrust hinged on Peace, security and good governance a lot is required to achieve a more peaceful, safer and secured State where people will go about their legitimate activities without fear of intimidation, attacks, molestation, being killed or kidnapped.
The State Government has done well in setting up the Dutse Uke Operation Rainbow Surveillance Unit which is to tackle early warnings to any form of security breach as well as the establishment of the State Peace Building Agency. What is needed now is funding and necessary supports to the outfit/Agency as well as to other security formation operating in the State.
There should also be a sound justice system to ensure speedy prosecution of criminal elements to serve as deterrent to others as well as strengthening existing laws, if any, on crimes such as kidnapping, cult-related activities, Herdsmen attacks/killings, cattle rustling, illegal possession of firearms etc.
Plateau State Government must be seen working round the clock in addressing the rising crime rate.
A peaceful, safer and secured Plateau State is possible if key actors such as the security agencies can improve by deploying superior tactics and strategies, Government showing sufficient commitment and giving the security agencies the needed supports and the public playing their roles in tackling insecurity since security is everybody’s business.
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