Security: Tinubu Approves Implementation Of CCTV Project For FCT; Bandits Rampage Katsina, Plateau Communities

 By Suleima Umaru

 Worried by the increasing activities of kidnappers and other violent cries in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, may have informed why President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has approved the emergency procurement and installation of Close Circuit Televisions, CCTV, in the Nigerian Capital city to track the kidnappers.

 Nyensom Wike , a former governor of Rivers state and minister of FCT, who had been under pressure from the residents to make the city safe for business  had aid that the procurement of the digital  tracking tools will  help to halt  kidnappers in their tracks.  The former Rivers state governor who could not hide his feelings had said that that the procurement of the digital tracking tools would mark a turning point in the fight against banditry and kidnappers in FCT and its environs.

An elated Wike  said the purchase and installation of the digital tracking equipment at strategic locations in FCT,  will enable the security agencies, comprising of the Nigerian Police Force,NPF, under the close watch of Kayode Egbetokun  and the  Lt. General Taoreed Lagbaja, led Nigerian Army including the Department of State Security, DSS and  National Intelligence Agency, NIA, personnel  to track he Criminals in their hideouts in the city.

Aware that there are some difficult terrains in the city which vehicles may not access  for the security agencies personnel to do their job may have given the FCT minister the encouragement to take the bold initiative  to provide motorcycles to ease specific  movements  of the security operatives  to enable them  tackle  insecurity  in FCT.

Wike, minister of FCT, elated over Presidential approval to install CCTV in Abuja metropolis

Admitted that the installation of the CCTV Camera in strategic locations in the nation’s capital city would go a long way to reduce crime, the FCT, minister had said that it may not achieve the desired purpose without the cooperation and support of the four states that borders the city.  He had alluded to Nasarawa, Kogi, Kaduna and Niger, home state of Ibrahim Babangida, a retired Army General and former Nigerian military President.

There are fears in both official and unofficial circles that the installation of the multi-million dollars, CCTV Camera systems in Abuja metropolis might be another white elephant project. This is because the previous Administration of late President Umaru Yar’Adua which had initiated the project that was said to have been inherited by  former Presidents Goodluck Jonathan amnd Muhammadu Buhari, a Katsina state born politician could not implement it. .

Shehu Sani, a –one time Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria, had said that  Late Yar’Adua former Nigerian President, had borrowed the sum of $460 million from the Asian country of China –EXIM bank for the purpose of improving the security situation in the FCT by installing CCTV camera system in the city. The contract for the installation of the CCTV camera system in the sprawling growing Abuja city  was said to have been awarded  to ZTE Communications, a Chinese firm .

 Olusegun Aganga,  the then minister of Finance  under former President Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration  who had  given Nigerians the assurance that the project is on the priority list of the government turned out to be an empty promise  until Muhammadu Buhari, the immediate past Nigerian President   handed  over power to Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his successor, on May 29, 2023. This is because both the money and the Camera were essentially kidnapped by elements of previous governments’ as alleged by an aggrieved Senator Sani’.

 The inability of the late Yar’Adua, Jonathan and Buhari’s Administrations  to execute the multi—million dollar project  in a space of 14 years  may have informed  why Bandits turned Kidnappers  are still operating in the FCT, till date.   The worsening security situation in the city is so worrisome that residents are no longer finding funny.

The ninth House of Representatives under the Leadership of Femi Gbajabiamila, now Chief of Staff , CS, to President Tinubu, had  pledged to investigate  the borrowed $460 million from the Chinese –EXIM bank , particular, questioning why the digital security tools  were not operational  years  after obtaining the loan but that was how far the House could go.

Given the inability of the Nigerian government to implement the installation of the multi-million dollar Abuja metropolis CCTV Camera system may have given the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, room to drag the then Buhari’s government to an Abuja High Court to account for the $460 million  loan in May 2023, barely one month to the end of  second term in office of the then President Buhari.

.The trial Judge, Justic Emeka NNwite, in his Judgment had ordered  the government ‘’to publish  the total amount  of money  that was said to have been paid to ZTE, a Chinese Communications Company  and other local companies contractors . The government was said to have also been ordered to give the specific details of the entities of the Companies   and other contractors involved in the implementation of the Abuja CCTV Project.  

The 10th  Senate  under the Leadership of Godswill Akpabio, a former governor of Akwa Ibom  state  appear to have followed the footsteps of Gbajabia mila, led ninth House of Representatives by giving his words  to probe  the abandoned  installation of the CCTTV  Cameras  in the Abuja metropolis , 14 years after the contract was awarded to ZTE, a Chinese Communications company.

The Akpabio led 10th Senate may have taken the bold initiative to probe the $460 million loan by  Late Yar’Adua government  because of the increased kidnapping  and other  security challenges  that still persist  in the FCT.

 While the Nigerian government is still making moves to actualize the implementation of the CCTV Camera system project in Abuja metropolis 14  years after it was initiated  by late President Yar’Adua,  Peter Obi , a former governor of Anambra state  and Presidential Candidate of Labour Party , in the country’s February 25, 2023, Presidential election  is worried over  the escalating  insecurity  issues in Abuja, the Seat of power and other states of the Federation.

The LP, Presidential Candidate was said, was said to have made President Tinubu, who had travelled to France on a private visit to understand that  over 3,600 kidnappings  and nearly  9,000 conflict –related  deaths  in 2023 alone. The number of kidnap cases, in the country and the need for the government to step up  security of the country.The former Anambra state governor fears the number of the kidnapped cases  would  increase in lips and bounds this 2024.

This is evident with the recent happening at Tashar Naguelle Community, in Batsari Local Government Area, of Katsina, home state of former Pesident Buhari, where a band of Bandits Group   motorists made up of over 100 men stormed the village and kidnapped over 30 people.

Magu Community fresh attacks in Plateaau state

The kidnap of no fewer than 30 people in the Katsina state Community may be a child’s play compared to the  fresh attack  in Kwahaslalek  village  in Magu Local Government  Area of the north central state of Plateau state where over 30 people  were killed and several others kidnapped and taken to unknown location by armed gun men.  The Kwahaslalek village attack by gun men was said to come on heels of the recent security the President was said to have held with NuhuRibabu, the National Security Adviser, NSA, and the service Chiefs including other security and intelligence Agency Chiefs to develop comprehensive security measures to address the country’s prevailing security challenges.

Abbas Tajudeen: Speaker House Of Representatives

The gun  men attacks on the Plateau state Community  is a clear justification for the Tinubu’s government to move fast  to devise new security strategies to protect lives and property  in the late Solomon Lar, a former Chairman of the Opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP’s home  state. Musa Abdullahi Kirshi, a member of the House of Representatives who may have spoken the mind of Abbas Tajudeen , the Speaker , who is angered over the recurring gunmen attacks in in Comunities Magu Local Government Area of Plateau state had said  that the lower Chamber  would take ‘’strong position against banditary  to stop the killings and restore ever lasting peace in the state’’.      

Additional report by Lateef Adegbite

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