By George Okoh
State governors in the North-central region of Nigeria have called on the federal government to support the region in its ongoing digital technology project(s) and other security preventive measures to fight all forms of criminalities in their states.
The joint appeal was made yesterday at the Government House in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, by member states when the governors of Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kogi, Kwara and Niger States met to appraise the security challenges facing the states.
Speaking to journalists at the end of the meeting, the Niger State Governor and Chairman of the region governors’ forum, Alhaji Abubakar Bello, said the federal government needs to establish military camps or training grounds in the forests in the zone in order to block the movement of criminals.
According to him, “The military units should be Infantry with adequate support weapons. Also, elements of Armoured Unit (Track Armoured Vehicles/APC) will be necessary.”
He called for the resuscitation of Peace and Security Committees at the local government levels to enhance quick decision on insecurity, crime prevention and detection.
Bello said the forum stressed the need for the Nigeria Police Force to synergise with the state governments in the recruitment and training of community police officers for adequate security at the grassroots level.
The Niger State governor said: “The need to restore involvement of traditional and community leaders in intelligence gathering and sharing in order to assist security agencies in fight against the insecurity in the zone is very important, just as the need to share intelligence among member states and to create multi-layer intelligence gathering.”
The governor said the states would partner the federal government in achieving their target.
Bello called on agencies, such as Immigration and Customs Services to curb the proliferation of light and small weapons.
He appreciated the effort of security agencies in tackling insecurity in the zone, and urged them not to relent, just as he called on his colleagues to be focused on issues that would create regional development, stressing that national interest should be the guiding principles.