SPOTLIGHT ON “THE RENAISSANCE OF EFFECTIVE SECURITY SERVICES IN KOGI STATE UNDER GOVERNOR YAHAYA BELLO, GYB”
When the Latin notion, E Pluribus Unum” meaning “Out of Many; One is chosen”, was opined, it obviously was inspired by the life of a revered, relentless and remarkable man. It therefore would not be out of place to compare such traits to a man who has distinguished himself in effective governance and selfless leadership coupled with an unassuming demeanour; The Executive Governor of Kogi State, his Excellency, Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello.
On assumption of office after a divine twist of events and a political cul de sac, Governor Yahaya Bello was sworn into office in January 2016. On assumption, it was an obvious fact that he had a daunting task of rejigging the socio-economic potential of the State cutting across healthcare, education, youth and women empowerment, environmental protection and indeed security. Security being a critical factor for socio-economic stability was a critical area of focus for the Bello administration.
Before Governor Yahaya Bello assumed office, there were myriads of security challenges bedevilling the State including kidnappings, blood ritual murders, banditry, terrorism burglary and robbery. But on his resuming office, Governor Bello swung into action by doing a sweep of the road corridors traversing the Confluence State. In the process the shrubs on the road shoulders and sides which had become a convenient tool for perpetrating kidnapping and banditry was cleared. As a result road travellers could see as far as 150 metres ahead while threading these roads. This led to a drastic drop in kidnap cases in the State. According to statistics there were at least 25 kidnap cases every month in the State before the Governor assumed office, but after less than a year in office of Governor Bello, the cases had dropped to an average of 2. At the onset of his administration also, an ISWAP cell was discovered in Okene area of the State.
They were responsible for bombing of the Deeper life Bible Church killing 17 people with over 70 injured. Governor Bello changed the narrative and routed out the cell from the State. Before Governor Bello assumed office, incidents of farmers herders clashes were also rampant, however Governor Bello adopted strategic approaches to ensure peaceful co-existence and cohesion by ensuring holistic cooperation.
These achievements are attributable to the provision of over 200 utility and patrol vehicles for security agencies in the state tagged, “Operation Total Freedom”. The State Government under Governor Bello also recruited over 6,000 local vigilantes empowered with motorcycles for providing intelligence information for the conventional security agencies. Nonetheless, State of the Art security gadgets were also procured for the Operation which was established by the Bello administration. 500 motorcycles were also procured for security patrol operations and while the services of vigilante security operatives were engaged.
To further capitulate on these efforts, Governor Yahaya Bello declared war against armed robbers and criminals in the State by daring to apprehend and prosecute shadow criminal lords deemed untouchable as their hide outs were rooted and demolished. He also constructed the Army Forward Operations Base at various places across the State to enhance the security in the State.
The state Government also sponsored the training of 441 Special Constabulary Police Personnel at the Nigerian Police Training College, Ilorin, Kwara State. The results of these interventions came to the fore in 2017, when a report released by the National Bureau of Statistics, stated that out of the 134,663 cases of crime reported in the country; Bauchi, Kebbi and Kogi states had the lowest rates. In the same year, Kogi had no cases of burglary while the state with the highest level of crime had 1,213 cases. Little wonder, in recognition of these contributions to the nations’ anti-terrorism and banditry efforts, Governor Yahaya Bello was conferred an Award of Recognition by the Inspector General of Police for his determination to rid the State of such elements.
Just recently, the Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria (CRAN) as well, made up of journalists on the crime beat, appointed Governor Bello as its patron in recognition of his efforts which led to Kogi being adjudged as one of the states with the lowest crime rate in the country.
As it has often been said in religious fora “where there is light, darkness comprehends it not” therefore to further boost security, electric power supply in the State received a boost with various degrees of intervention for the Power Holding Company serving the State. In consideration of checking youth unemployment and drudgery which are pedestal for crime and social vices, the Bello administration also empowered them economically and through educational opportunities.
Today, it is on record that his administration has the highest number of women and youths captured in the States intervention programmes. It suffice to say that in the African cultural milieu “A child who washes his hands clean can sit with the elders” The 2023 elections are around the corner and Governor Yahaya Bello GYB, having washed his hands clean by repositioning the Confluence State to an epochal scale, has thrown in his cap in the ring to join in the race to be the President of Nigeria, PYB. This is for him to further contribute his bit to making Nigeria, a country of our dreams.