Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has regretted that some prominent Nigerians are involved but feign ignorance of the hideout, as well as the wicked activities of bandits in the country without volunteering information to the security agencies.
Aregbesola, who was reacting to the recent abduction and eventual release of the 29 student students of College of Forestry Mechanization in Kaduna said it was not possible to take such a large number of students through a reasonably long distance on open trucks and motorcycles without anyone seeing them along the way.
The Minister, who stated this in Abuja yesterday at the decorating ceremony of the Deputy Controllers General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) and the Deputy Commandant General of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) with their new ranks, called on the security agencies to cultivate deep relationship with people in their communities, so that they can trust them with the vital information needed for securing the nation.
He called on the officers to rise to the occasion as the country is currently at war with bandits, insurgents and others, while charging the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in particular should maximise their grassroots penetration for intelligence gathering.
“It is important therefore that you cultivate deep relationship with the people in your communities so they can trust you with the vital information needed for securing the nation. We are at a point where we cannot but make a big difference
“The criminals live in our homes, offices, farms, bushes and forests. They roam our streets and engage in day-to-day activities with us. On the surface, they are just as ordinary and uniform like the rest of us.
“I will find it difficult to believe that it is possible to take such a large number of students through a reasonably long distance on open trucks and motorcycles without anyone seeing them along the way.
“It will be hard also to believe that some other Nigerians are not aware of their dens and the nefarious activities going on there as we speak.”
He warned that “playing catch up with criminals can be deadly and very costly. Keeping out known and unknown criminals out of our borders is therefore an unfinished business. You cannot rest on your oars.”
The Minister congratulated the promoted officers and pointed out that their promotion is a call to excellence and renaissance in all aspects of the services, stressing that he had no doubt that they have the ability to surpass all expectations.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Shuaib Belgore, noted that the current security situation has necessitated increased vigilance by security operatives as well as the need for improved quality of security operations in Nigeria.
He urged the officers to ensure that Nigeria over comes the challenges of rising insecurity demonstrated by kidnapping, banditry, arson, herder-farmer conflicts.