By John Shiklam in Kaduna
TheÂ Senate is to consider direct funding of the Nigerian police to enable it confront the security challenges facing the country squarely.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Senator Abu Ibrahim statedÂ this yesterday during an assessment tour of the special teamÂ deployment along the Kaduna-Abuja Expressway to combat the menace of kidnapping.
IbrahimÂ who was conducted round theÂ operational locations of theÂ police along the Kaduna-Abuja highway toÂ check the activities of the banditsÂ by the Kaduna State commissionerÂ of Police, Mr. Agyole Abeh, lamented the lack of poorÂ funding of police operations.
He urged theÂ police authorities to deploy their men to the forest to flush out the criminals from their hideouts.
Ibrahim promisedÂ that his committee wouldÂ push for a bill that will ensure that at least one per cent of the federal allocation is set aside for security operations by the police.
He stressed that a situation where the police use funds meant for purchasing of equipment and welfare of its personnel for special operations was unfortunate unacceptable.
Addressing policemenÂ manning the highway atÂ Katari Divisional Police Headquarters, anÂ operational base of police operations tagged â€œOperation Absolute Sanity,â€ IbrahimÂ said, welfareÂ of police personnel wouldÂ be discussed in the upper chamber when it resumes from recess.
He also disclosed that his committee will soon embark on aÂ tour of Nassarawa, Kano, Kaduna, Niger, Kogi, Zamfara and Katsina States to solicit for the commitments of the governorsÂ to supportÂ security operations around their state with funds.
Speaking earlier, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Agyole Abeh said, members of the special forces deployed on Kaduna-Abuja highway wereÂ the best brains in the police force, havingÂ undergoneÂ series of trainings
He assured that withÂ proper equipment and welfare, they will not only comb the forests, butÂ will equally rid Kaduna-Abuja highway of kidnappers.
According to the police commissioner, some villages along the high way used to be a havenÂ for the kidnappers and armed robbersÂ who have since been flushed out by the police.
Agyole explained that theÂ tactics of the kidnappers wasÂ to empower some villagers with motor bikes and mobile phones to serve as their informants.
â€œWhile the kidnappers are in the forest, these informants ride bikes down to the forest to give them information on the movement of security personnel. Also, when a vehicle breaks down on the road, the informants quickly alertsÂ them to come and kidnap the passengers.
â€œThe kidnappers often useÂ mobile phones collected from their victims. They also travel very far from the crime spot and their camps to contact the victimsâ€™ relatives on phone. This is is making it difficult for us to easily track them down. But, even with this, we have arrested a large number of themâ€ he said.Â