By CHRIS EKEKE
Worried by the sectarian violence fueled by secessionists’ agitations in parts of the country, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, yesterday appealed to state governors of core Niger Delta states to rejig their security architectures in order to effectively confront security challenges plaguing the region.
The IGP told Governors Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Ben Ayade (Cross River), Nyesom Wike (Rivers) as well as Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa) and Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), who were represented by their deputy and Secretary to the State Government (SSG), respectively, that it was time to curb growing trends of insecurity in the region.
Idriss, who spoke yesterday at a security summit he personally organized in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, noted that it was time all hands were on the deck, to ensure a holistic action against the scourge of kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism and other violent crimes plaguing the region.
He urged the governors to take it in their strides to create a peaceful environment for socio-political and economic development to thrive.
Towards stemming the tides of kidnappings and other violent crimes, Idris commended the National Assembly “for passing a bill that will
help check kidnappings and other dangerous crimes that have been bedeviling the country”.
According to him, the police working in collaboration with other security agencies have been doing their utmost to curb crimes in the country, citing the recent arrest of kidnap kingpin, popularly called Evans and others as some of the major achievements of the Force in the recent times.
The minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Uguru Usani Uguru, who chaired the occasion, identified cultism as the major driver of violent crimes in the country and blamed politicians and other leaders of the civil society for not doing enough to address economic insecurity that gives rise to the malaise in the country.
He pointed out that the need to address the problem informed President Muhammadu Buhari’s huge investment in agriculture and other
empowerment schemes to engage the youths in meaningful ventures.
Governor Emmanuel, Wike, Ayade, Okowa, Dickson and others underscored the importance of creating the enabling environment for businesses to thrive, but lamented that the issue of security has sometimes been compromised and politicised.
Wike believe the federal government should unbundle the police with sufficient guarantee to work at close quarters with governors towards
effective security management in states.
Emmanuel pointed out that the refusal of the International Oil Companies (IOCs) to relocate to the Niger Delta has contributed to the prevailing tension in the region, wondering why operational bases in the region could be degraded by exploration activities, while Lagos continues to serve as a peaceful area hosting the firms.
He, therefore, made a case for IOCs to relocate and contribute to economic development of the region through jobs creation, environmental remediation and infrastructural development which, according to him, would go a long way to tame the tides of violence orchestrated by militants’ agitations in the region.