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Tinubu Greenlights Emergency Procurement of Tracking Equipment to Combat Rising Kidnappings

January 22, 2024

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory FCT, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike said President Bola Tinubu has given approval for emergency procurement of digital tracking tools to help halt kidnappers in their tracks.

Wike at a media interface on Monday in Abuja said while he would not go into details, the informants recently arrested by security agencies in the territory are cooperating and offering actionable intelligence.

He said information obtained from the suspects had led to the arrest of some kidnappers who were paraded by the Police at the weekend.

According to him, security agencies have also been able to foil more attacks, saying the government was not sleeping.

While he lamented that the lack of adequate equipment in the past had led to recent unpleasant events, Wike said with the emergency procurement approval by the president, the story would now change.

He said; “So many facilities were not provided. Vehicles for the security agencies are not there. You cannot believe it that equipment to track criminals are not there. When anything happens, they go back to the Office of the National Security Adviser or to the Force Headquarters. That is not the way it is supposed to be.

“When I was the Governor of Rivers state, the DSS told me they wanted a particular equipment. We were the only state that had it then. In fact, sometimes the headquarters asked for its use. That is a special equipment they needed and that equipment, we know how expensive it is but we had it and that was able to help us reduce the level of crime. It was able to track the specific phones not one that would say for example the criminals are around the city here. With that equipment, it was specific. It can track a particular phone to the exact spot or room. So, what we have done with the approval of Mr President, giving us approval for emergency procurement, we have been able to identify what each of the agencies need and we will be able now to provide them.

“Again before we came on board, the police had said that they had requested procurement of certain number of motorcycles where vehicles cannot get to- the remote and mountainous areas. Unfortunately, they were not provided but we are going to do that now.

“Security is not just these equipment. You also have to motivate the personnel. I don’t want to talk about the strategies because we are talking security now.

“Assuming Mr President did not approve this emergency procurement, we had been to the Bureau for Public Procurement since December to allow is to procure under emergency. If you don’t and you have to go the whole hog of the processes, it can take you two months and that is not what you tell members of the public, that procurement process is a problem. No.

The basic thing is having identified all these and the security agencies have told us this is what they require, we had to do the needful. We have even gone further to ask the state director of DSS about what they would need to tackle this menace. What kind of equipment do you want? Not that if anything happens, you have to run to your headquarters to seek assistance. Before you to your headquarters, something else would have happened. But if you have these equipment, you don’t need to seek approval of your headquarters to begin to seek equipment to track the criminals”.

According to the minister, while the Administration cannot set up its own security agency like the subnational entities, he said the FCTA would however establish a Joint Task Force with a full command and control structure as well as relevant equipment to be able to respond in cases fo security emergencies.

“The next thing is to set up a joint security outfit here where they have their own structure and equipment so that if anything happens the task force will know it is their function to move in. Yes it will cost us some funds and it will take us some time hut what is important is that we have identified that this is a lacuna that we have to cover”, he stated.

On informants, the minister said; “The efforts of our security agencies have yielded the arrests of informants who have told us what they were planning and you should have known too that we have also taken steps but we won’t belabour that. All we can assure you is that you don’t need to panic. Everything is being done to ensure the protection of lives and property”.

 

 

Credit: Vanguard

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