Sunday Aborisade in Abuja
The Senate at plenary on Wednesday unanimously agreed to probe the $500 million contract for the installation of the Close Circuit Television (CCTV) camera awarded in 2015 but allegedly poorly implemented.
The resolution of the Senate was sequel to the adoption of a motion moved as a point of order by Senator Ned Nwoko on the Galadimawa kidnapping tragedy.
The upper chamber called on the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Chief Nyesom Wike, to investigate the implementation of the contract.
Nwoko, in his lead debate, expressed concern on recent kidnapping incidents in Galadimawa area of the FCT, involving multiple individuals, including his Senior Legislative Aide, Mr. Chris Agidy.
He said two weeks ago, a distressing incident unfolded, where 19 individuals were forcefully taken from their homes in Galadimawa area of Abuja.
Nwoko said upon receiving the distressing news, immediate measures were taken, adding that he contacted the Commissioner of Police who swiftly activated the OC Anti-Kidnapping team to secure the release of those abducted.
He, however, expressed regret that distressing updates from reliable police sources confirmed that out of the 19 individuals abducted, 12 have been killed, while seven remained in the custody of the kidnappers.
He said efforts to ascertain the well-being and status of his staff, among the seven individuals still held, was ongoing.
Nwoko said there was a close coordination with the security operatives who have been diligently working on the matter.
He, however, said the challenges persist, as contacting the kidnappers for negotiation has proven immensely difficult.
He said: “Their lines remain inactive, hindering direct communication and negotiation efforts.
“According to security operatives, efforts are still focused on securing the remaining individuals held captive from the forested area approximately 100 km away, despite the daunting challenges faced in reaching the kidnappers.
“As we await further updates from the authorities, we remain resolute in our pursuit of a swift and safe resolution to this distressing situation.”
Contributing, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (APGA- Abia) said kidnapping was not just in Galadimawa alone, but also in Lugbe, Kubwa Kuje and other parts of the FCT.
He said many residents in these areas no longer sleep in their homes for fear of being kidnapped.
He said there was an urgent need for the Senate to take the issue seriously as FCT and its environs were under seige of kidnapping.
Senator Adamu Alero (PDP-Kebbi) said insecurity was everywhere in the FCT, adding that urgent steps needed to be taken to put a halt to it.
He called for a revisiting of the $500 million contract awarded for the installation of CCTV cameras in the FCT in the past.
Alero said it was a shame and national embarrassment for kidnapping activities to be happening in the FCT, adding that the National Assembly had approved over N1 trillion for security agencies to fight insecurity in Nigeria.
Senate in its further resolutions, called for a joint operation involving the Army, police and DSS to intenify search efforts for the kidnapped victims.
It also urged the Minister of FCT to revisit the installation of CCTV contract award within Abuja where over $500 million had been spent and make the contractor accountable.
It also called on the Inspector General of Police (IG) to increase the surveillance patrols in Abuja to prevent kidnapping.
Senate also called on the IG to conduct thorough investigation into the kidnappings in Abuja.
It also mandated its committees on security to enforce a robust security measures within Abuja and prevail on security agencies to consider installation of the CCTV cameras within specific areas in Abuja and other parts of the country.
It also urged its committees on FCT to liaise with the FCT Minister on ways to resolve insecurity in Abuja.