House of Representatives chides Police over Nigeria’s worsening insecurity
BY FRANCIS EZEM
The House of Representatives, Nigeria’s lower legislative chamber has berated the nation’s Police Force over the worsening cases of insecurity across the country ranging from kidnapping for ransom, armed banditry that has left scores dead to other related crimes.
The acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had during the quarterly Northern Traditional Rulers’ Council meeting held on Tuesday in Kaduna, said that 1,071 persons lost their lives in crime-related cases across the country in the first quarter of 2019.
The House had at plenary yesterday, had asked President Muhammadu Buhari to cut short his private visit to the United Kingdom and also summoned him to appear before it as well as declare state of emergency in Katsina, the president’s home state.
Chairman, House Committee on Police, Lawal Abubakar, who reacted to the statistics released by the Police on insecurity during an interview monitored on Channels Television, noted that there are still many more grounds to cover by the Police in terms of securing the country.
According to him, the Police Force may have been doing its best. He however regretted that their best is not enough, a development that gives rise to the need for them to up the game and come up with new strategies to protect lives and property.
“The primary function and duty of the government as enshrined in the constitution is the protection of lives and property and so the question one has to ask himself is whether this duty is currently being carried out effectively and the answer is no”, he had argued.
He noted that why it has become necessary for the Police and other relevant government agencies to up their game is because the increasing insecurity has spread to every other part of the country as against the former situation where it was concentrated in the north eastern part of the country.
Details of the security report by the IGP showed that between January and April, at least 685 persons were kidnapped across the country while the 767 persons killed were all from the North.
According to him, the North-West topped the death list with 436; North-Central came second with 250; while the South-South geopolitical zone recorded 130 deaths during the period under review.
He added that Zamfara State with 203 murder cases topped the national prevalence rate, Kaduna State followed closely with 112 reported cases while 90 people were killed in Benue State even as most of the murder cases recorded in the North were linked to banditry and communal violence.
In relation to banditry, he said, a total of 175 deaths were reported between January and April this year with Zamfara State topping the list with 104 reported cases, followed by Katsina State with 21 killed by bandits and Sokoto State with 19 cases.
On kidnappings, the IGP said 546 or 79.8 per cent of the national total were recorded in the three northern geopolitical zones.
He said the highest zonal prevalence rate occurred in the North-West where 365 persons were reportedly kidnapped within the period under review.
“This is followed by the North-Central geopolitical zone where 145 persons were kidnapped.
“It is pertinent to mention that Zamfara State has the highest national kidnap rate with 281 victims in what has been directly linked to the activities of bandits in the state.
“This is followed by Kogi and Niger states where 65 and 51 persons, respecrively were kidnapped within the period,” the IGP added.
On armed robbery, Adamu had disclosed that a total of 212 major armed robbery cases were reported nationally within the period under review.
Adamu further said the North with 130 major robbery cases representing 59.43 per cent of the national total incident rate topped the list of armed robbery profile.
“The North-Central geopolitical zone with a total of 81 armed robbery cases represents the zone with the highest rate while Niger State, the FCT and Zamfara State with 32, 23 and 18 cases, respectively occupy the three topmost states in the national armed robbery profile,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad (111), had said during the meeting that the monarchs in the North should not be blamed for the sundry cases of kidnapping, banditry and armed robbery