Towards a peaceful and secure Nasarawa state

Nasarawa state government under the leadership of Governor Abdullahi Sule is weathering the storm of insecurity challenges in the state by his recent moves as MOHAMMED YANGIDA writes.
It is obvious that Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa state has shown the political will and commitment to securing the lives and property of the good people of the state, hence his administration accorded topmost priority to security.
Sule once said, “Security is number one because without it, all we have been looking for in Nasarawa state would not actually come and would not be of any benefit to any one of our people.”He said that his administration would continue to support and cooperate with the security agencies and all well- meaning Nigerians towards ensuring the security of lives and property of citizens in Nasarawa state.
Some steps taken
As part of the commitment, he was able to identify and  address some critical issues that would stem communal crisis and ensure a lasting solution along the border communities.
Sule’s relentless push towards securing the state is spurred by his determination to attract more investors and launch initiatives that would improve the economy, infrastructure and address  unemployment in the state.
For instance, on assumption of office in 2019, Sule swung into action by resolving Nasarawa/Benue crises especially around the border settlements. He and his Benue counterpart exchanged visits and discussed extensively the need for peaceful coexistence between the two states, which eventually paid off with the restoration of relative peace along the border communities.One of the critical steps taken by the governor towards checking the menace of criminalities in the state was offering the Lafia Cargo Airport as an operational base for the NAF 22 Quick Response Special Forces, among other measures.

The deployed NAF forces are to work in collaboration with Operation Whirl Stroke with a view to boost security in the state as well as the entire North-central zone.
Sule said that the security architecture in the state has to be strengthened as he identified boundary dispute, as well as take measure steps to bar infiltration by fleeing bandits into the state.
He then called on the traditional rulers to actively work with the security agents to fish out criminal elements in their communities. ..
Investment drive/legislation against crimes
The governor stand out from many especially in the northern states as many companies are now comfortably setting up establishments in the state especially the Dangote Sugar Refinery in Awe local government area, Olam Farms in Doma LG, Azman and Golden Sugar Company, a subsidiary of the Flour Mills of Nigeria to establish sugar company in Toto LGA.
Also in his bid to improve the security for the people of the state, Sule had in February 2020 signed into law the Nasarawa State Kidnapping Act Prohibition Law 2020, a  bill that prescribes death penalty for anyone found guilty of kidnapping in the state.
The act according to  Governor Sule was extensively deliberated and passed into law by the state assembly spelling out various offences relating to kidnapping and prescribed stringent punishment for perpetrators, such as life imprisonment and death penalty.
The law also added there would be forfeiture of any property used by kidnappers in the state while owners of such property would be liable to 20 years jail term. His worries
While congratulating President Muhammadu Buhari as well as the security agencies for the successes being recorded in the fight against banditry and kidnappings across the country, he however expressed worry that fleeing bandits may seek refuge in mostly inaccessible parts of the state, reminiscent of the outlawed Darussalam sect.
Sule said there was the need for the state to take proactive steps in order to stop those fleeing bandits from taking refuge in the state as well as to afford protection for the citizens and residents of the state.
The governor said it has become necessary for members of the security council to discuss the security situation across the country and how it affects the state.He recalled with hard feeling the Darul -Salam sect incursion in 2018 when the fleeing sect members, having been dislodged from Niger state, took up refuge in the dense forest areas of Toto local government area.
A joint operation at Utu by the Navy, Air Force, 177 Guard Battalion and 4 Special Forces, Doma Barracks broke the group, leaving more than a thousand women and children of the Darul Salam men stranded and since repatriated to their states of origin.

“We know that some of them are still hunting. We know that they are trying to come back and that is the reasons  we have no other choice than to make sure that we established a military camp inside Uttu..

“We also established the super camp and various other security agencies, including a Mopol squadron we have in Toto local government area of the state,” Sule stated.He expressed concern that the successes so far being recorded against bandits in Niger, Zamfara, Kaduna and other states in the North west may actually pose a threat to peace in Nasarawa state.He emphasized that it has therefore become necessary, for members of the council to come together and strategise with a view to protecting the people.Governor Sule equally appreciated security agencies operating in the state, especially the police, DSS and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence (NSCD) for the feat recently recorded when kidnappers operating along the Akwanga-Jos road were apprehended leading to the rescue of some of their victims. …

MACBA commends Sule

Equally, chairman Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in the state Alhaji Bala Mohammed Dabo, appreciated the governor for making it possible for the people of the state to commute freely as a result of the relative peace and security across the state, saying, Governor Sule deserves commendation for his efforts towards tackling insecurity because they know how the state used to be in the past..He promised to give all the necessary support to the administration of Sule for the interest of peace and for development to thrive in the state. He noted that Fulani are peace loving people who are honest in dealing with other tribes and any pastoralist that does not believe in peace building that Nasarawa is enjoyed is not part of them.Dabo also appealed to citizens to ensure peace in the state through harmonious working relationship and honesty. “Through the proactive measures taken by Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa state, Nasarawa remains the most peaceful state in the entire North,” Dabo said.He therefore encouraged the governor not to be distracted by the security challenge in the state..

Parley with NSDC boss.

Also recently, the governor visited the Commandant General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) Ahmed Abubakar Audi at headquarters Abuja. According to the NSCDC Commandant General, the corps has deployed additional logistics to the state in order to adequately tackle the security threat posed by the anticipated influx of bandits into the state.Audi noted that with the current insecurity situation bedevilling the country, the only option remaining to nib the emerging trend is to work on intelligence, stressing that the corps would always take action if in possession of credible intelligence.

He therefore assured the governor of continued support and cooperation from the corps towards  addressing challenges of insecurity and maintaining the peace in the state.Governor Sule however, commended both the Commandant General and the Nasarawa state command of the corps for the support in the maintenance of peace and order in the state.