How Governor Bello Fixed Kogi’s Perennial Insecurity
By Hafsat Ibrahim
The fact is indisputable. Security challenges have engulfed our dear nation. Each geo-political zone of the country is faced with gruesome acts of insecurity.
In the North East, there is the Boko Haram and the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, insurgency. Banditry and kidnapping for ransom are holding the North West and Central by their jugular.
In the South East, peace has remained elusive as a result of the violence unleashed by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, agitators, and unknown gunmen. States in the South West have since become haven for many cyber-criminals and ritualists.
Surprisingly, one State of the Federation that is presently witnessing relative stability, peace and security devoid of violent attacks of sort is Kogi State.
Sandwiched by the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, and Niger State, where the activities of bandits and kidnappers have heightened, Kogi, in recent years, have become ‘hot’ for criminal gangs to operate in.
But what did Kogi’s past history say? Before the emergence of Alhaji Yahaya Bello as Governor of Kogi State, in January 2016, Kogi was not left out of the general insecurity that affected a lot of States in the North-Central, and other parts of the country.
The political climate in ‘The Confluence State’, then, was so tense and toxic, as people were divided along ethnic and religious lines. The menace of youth unemployment was one thing that further fueled insecurity in the State.
Though past Kogi Governors made assiduous efforts to clamp down on criminal elements unleashing mayhem, Governor Yahaya Bello deserves plaudits for singularly evolving security measures that not only outlawed various acts of criminality, but also criminalised their perpetration.
Determined to banish the ignoble reputation of Kogi as a den of criminals, Governor Bello, upon assuming office, immediately gave Heads of Security Agencies in the State, a marching order to flush out criminal groups, then, holding Kogi to ransom.
And like loyal lieutenants, the security agencies responded by pounding the various ‘agents of violence’, who hitherto gave the State a bad name. Besides, the cordial relationship between the Governor and security agencies in the Kogi, is waxing stronger, by every day.
To ensure that criminals have no hiding place, GYB ordered and ensured the clearing of bushes, trees, and obstructive objects 40 meters on both sides of the highways in Kogi.
Known as the hotbed for bloody violence in the past, Kogi Central, today, is absolutely peaceful, serene and tranquil, thanks to the portent security measures unveiled by Governor Bello’s administration.
The same goes for the East and West Senatorial Districts.
Governor Bello, it must be highlighted, has also revamped the operation of Kogi vigilantes, together with the Kogi Whistle Blower Policy and domestication of the Criminal Justice Code.
With an unshaken sincerity of purpose, clear focus and foresighted leadership, Nigeria’s insecurity dilemma can be tackled effectively.
The model Governor Bello adopted in Kogi is one that has proven to be efficacious, over time. It is highly recommended.