As part of efforts to stop killing and kidnapping by herdsmen, The Federal Government says plans are underway to install closed circuit television cameras on the highways in the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari stated this at a closed-door meeting with the South-West traditional rulers led by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi at the Presidential Villa, Abuja
He said the country’s security architecture would be restructured, drones would be deployed in areas worst hit by banditry and kidnapping in collaboration with state governments.
He explained that the presidency would Work with all state governments to achieve this plan, ‘’we intend to beef up the equipping of the police force with advanced technology and equipment that can facilitate the work of the security agencies.
“I will be issuing directives to the appropriate federal authorities to speedily approve licensing for states requesting the use of drones to monitor forests and other criminal hideouts. We also intend to install CCTVs on highways and other strategic locations so that activities in some of those hidden places can be exposed, more effectively monitored and open to actionable review.
“We will equally continue to bring in our military when needed to complement the work of the police including possible deployment of troops on certain highways on a temporary basis, and the use of the Air Force assets to bomb hideouts where criminals are located.
He sought the cooperation of traditional rulers to monitor different communities.
saying, “We hope that, for instance, traditional rulers would be able to observe new entrants into the community by requesting leaders of such ethnic groups to notify the traditional authorities of intakes, thereby creating the opportunities for the gathering of actionable intelligence which tracks such movements in and out of communities thereby offering early warning signals.
“Some of these interventions include an expedited commencement of community policing, a robust revamping of police intelligence gathering capacity and the significant boosting of the numbers of security personnel in our local communities.”
Speaking with State House Correspondents after the meeting, the Ooni confirmed the President’s promises on security plans.
He said, “Today, the Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu was present and the entire security architecture will be restructured. We are very happy about that”,
As part of the new security measures being planned for the South-West, he said that the President informed them that CCTV cameras and drones would soon be deployed in the S’West to combat banditry and kidnapping.
“We were also told about community policing. The policemen will be recruited from the community; those who were born there, brought up there, and they won’t be able to move them around.
“So, we can use that strategy to avert a lot of tension going around the South-West in particular now. We were able to achieve that milestone.
The Ooni continued “Another milestone we achieved is that Mr President will fast-track monitoring of our forests by using the technology of modern standard, the drones. The various security agencies will rally round the IG and see how it can be properly deployed.
“We believe that with all these, there will be reduction in the tension in the South-West because the South-West is very sensitive in Nigeria. We don’t pray for crisis or war or uprising because it will snowball into a lot of things. That is why we are all represented from the six states that make up the South-West of Nigeria.”
The Ooni observed that one positive aspect of community policing was that it was left to the communities to be involved, as against allowing politicians alone to take decisions.
He stated, “The problem has been if you take police officers to the North, within six months they will shift them to another place in the South. They are not domiciled there and so any time they get there, they depend on the vigilantes, community heads, the Mogajis, the Baales, and all the districts heads, so why can’t you give the jobs to the families of the Mogajis, the Baales, and all the district heads? “So, it is a different re-jigging and I can assure you the government is very serious now.”
The monarch was further asked whether the South-West still stood by its position that the Fulani herders should leave the region, and he replied that the people wanted the “bad ones” among them to leave.
He said, “We all live in Nigeria; it is the bad ones that have come in from different borders that are porous, those are the ones we will focus on to separate the corn from the wheat.”
The Ooni stressing the point, “We are saying the bad ones should leave. The bad ones can never stay, even Mr President is with us on that. Even the Fulani clan does not want the bad ones to spoil their name. So many people are hiding under the Fulani to do evil now. So, the bad ones must go.”
Two weeks ago, the Ooni had met with the President over insecurity in the South-West.
He said the zone demanded the tightening of security over lives and property in the zone, while also insisting that bad eggs among the Fulani herders must leave the South-West and that the vigilantes will curb the menace of herdsmen in the region.