Independence Day celebration in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was without incident despite widespread fear over possible attacks within the territory and other cities.
CHIZOBA OGBECHE brings a report on how the Police command alongside other security agencies partnered residents to ensure hitch-free celebration.
Nigeria’s 57th independence celebration was perceived in some quarters as one that would be marked by violence and break-down of law and order following threat and counter threats by different group relating to agitations in different parts of the country.
However, the celebration was majorly, without any untoward incidents, especially in the Federal capital territory as the Police and other security agencies worked with residents and stakeholders consisting of religious, political and ethnic leaders in ensuring that the celebration was peaceful.
The command in a bid to achieve this convened a meeting with stakeholders and other relevant groups.
The meeting which held at the command headquarters in Abuja, had political and religious leaders; traditional leaders from different ethnic groups; leading business owners; traders’ association; association of residents, representatives of youth groups and civil society organisations, among others in attendance.
Addressing the meeting, the Commissioner of Police in charge of the FCT, CP Sadiq Abubakar Bello, said the Police and its sister agencies summoned the meeting to brainstorm with stakeholders on how to make the territory safe.
Emphasizing on the need for peace before, during and after the celebration, CP Bello, who said the security agencies were not unaware of threats to disrupt Nigeria’s 57th Independence Day celebration in Abuja, said the purpose of the meeting was to ensure that every citizen in Abuja enjoys security during the October 1, 2017 Independence Day celebration.
He said the command
would leave no stone un-turned in making the territory safe before, during and after the independence celebrations and called on residents to work with the Police.
According to him, residents have a stake in the security of their environment and a duty to report any security breach to the police or the nearest security agency to them.
The police boss, who assured that the command has put in place measures to ensure the safety of lives and property within the territory and its environs, urged residents to go about their business without fear of molestation.
He warned miscreants, criminal elements and other trouble makers to stay away from Abuja stating: “Any criminal threatening to disturb the peace of Abuja on Independence Day should have a rethink and stay away because officers and men of the command have been mobilized to deal with such disturbances.
” CP Bello reminded the stakeholders that it is also their obligation to assist the police in ensuring that every individual in the Federal Capital Territory is safe and urged them to preach peace to the members of their association and also to remind them of the oneness of Nigerian.
While urging residents not be afraid of providing relevant information to security agencies, the police boss said: “We are one Nigeria, despite our different tribes and creed hence we should be our brother’s keeper.
“We all agree that there must be peace in FCT, we should go out there and preach the message.
We are all Nigerians despite our tribe and creed.
All of us are brothers and sisters, let’s be our brothers’ keeper.
” In their contributions during the meeting the stakeholders, who pledged their support to the Police and other security agencies, however, drew the attention of the security agencies to the rising spat of crime within the territory and urged the police to focus on some known black spots in their areas.
According to them, criminal elements including drug dealers and their clients inhabit such areas like Karu Cemetery; some parts of Aco Estate, Sabon Lugbe and Wuye.
They expressed worry that some these criminals, who are mostly youth, are likely to be used in disrupting the Independence Day celebration hence the need to flush them out and sanitise such areas.
The stakeholders also promised to do their part by convening the message of the police boss to their subjects and followers so they in turn would caution their wards and children against getting involved in anything illegal or actions that could lead to the breach of the peace.
Similarly, the representative of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) in his message, urged the citizens to drive carefully during the celebration so as to prevent road accidents and loss of lives