Ensuring effective security of life, property in Kogi.

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By Dada Ahmed.

Vehicles Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo presented to the vigilante groups to boost their services.

Kogi state is not only endowed with about natural and human resources, it is blessed a unique geo-political identity in the geopolitical equation of Nigeria.

Located in the central region of Nigeria with latitude of approximately between 6.30°N and 8.00°N and longitude approximately between 5.30°E and 7.40°E,kogi state, created from Kwara and Benue states on August 27,1991.

The state is usually referred to as the Middle Belt of Nigeria, bordering nine of the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
Kogi is also otherwise known as
“The Confluence state”.Blessed with the site where River Niger and Benue meet and flow as one entity into other bodies of water in the world,amid other tourism endowments that marks, kogi can aptly be described a state to beat in terms of tourism potentialities of Nigeria.

The neighboring states are: the Federal Capital Territory to the north, Nasarawa and Benue to the northeast, Enugu to the east, Anambra to the southeast, Edo to the south, Ondo and Ekiti to the southwest, and Kwara to the west.

On the facial value,it is apt to say that Kogi State’s central location is advantageous for economic and social activities and connectivity thus making it a significant transit route for goods and people moving between the northern and southern parts of Nigeria.

Various literature concerning kogi state indicate that, being home to multiple ethnic groups of different cultures,traditions, political and religious beliefs among other divisive expressions sometimes lead to ethnic tensions and conflicts.

The diversity can also pose challenges for effective policing and maintaining law and order. Therefore,security experts expressed concern at different security fora that the location of the state also presents various security challenges that puts much pressure on the state government to find lasting solution to.

The experts believe that the unique centrality of kogi also make the geopolitical expression a hub for various criminal activities, including arms trafficking and banditry.

They cite the porous borders of the state as capable of facilitating the movement of criminals between states.

However,the experts identify effective and coordinated efforts, from the state and federal security agencies, as viable solutions to check breaching of peace and stem its enormous consequences on human life and property in kogi.

The concern of security experts manifested in recently at the Confluence University of Science and Technology, where kidnappers invaded the campus of the institution, punctured the peace of the university and Osara community.

The citizens of the community assert the recent kidnap of the students of the university is the first of its kind in the three-year old institution and 100-year- old Osara community located in the central senatorial district of the state.

According to AI report,a language model,in May 2024, the mood of residents of the Osara community was one of fear, anxiety, and anger ,following the kidnapping of some students from Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH), Osara.

The incident generated widespread panic and insecurity among the local population. Many residents were deeply concerned about the safety of their families and the apparent increase in criminal activities in their area.

In the ensued confusion at CUSTECH, the kidnappers abducted over 20 students of the university who were reading for their first semester examination,killing two of them in the dastard act that took place at about 8.30 p.m.

As the sour experience of Agojeju massacre remains fresh in minds,discerning minds,in and outside Kogi note that the current administration, under the leadership of Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo, is poised not allow criminals to have field day on innocent citizens, other residents and those transiting the state to other parts of Nigeria.

The administration has therefore begun implementation of several security measures to address and mitigate insecurity within the state.

Available information obtained from Chat GhatGPT,an Artificial Intelligence language model identifies such measures to include:Community Policing and Vigilante Groups, aimed at strengthening community policing initiatives and collaborating with local vigilante groups to enhance grassroots security and intelligence gathering.

Reliable sources also revealed reinforced efforts by the state government in technology integration and deployment of advanced technology, which including surveillance cameras, drones, and communication gadgets to monitor and respond to security threats more effectively.

There is also enhanced Intelligence sharing and coordination between different security agencies, including the police, military, and Department of State Services (DSS), to preempt and neutralize security threats.

As if this is not enough, experience shows that the Ododo administration has also demonstrated adequate capacity in building and enhance security infrastructure, equipping the state vigilante groups with vehicles to boost their efforts in tackling insecurity in the state.

There was also the launching of Operation “Yagba Kogi”,aimed at tackling banditry, kidnapping, and other violent crimes in specific regions of the state.

Concerned citizens have stressed the need for the recruitment and training of more local security personnel to boost the security manpower available for maintaining law and order.

Some parents and other individuals in the state expressed optimism that improved public awareness campaigns would go along way to boost efforts of the Ododo administration in educating citizens on security issues and encourage community participation in security efforts.

The role of traditional institution in mitigating insecurity in any society cannot be over emphasized.

In this regard, there have been clarion calls from different segments of the population of ths state for the engagement of members of this all important institution in conjunction with community leaders.

Collaborating with traditional rulers and community leaders, security experts argue will foster trust and cooperation between security agencies and the local population in fighting crime and criminality in the state.

Improvement of welfare and working conditions of security personnel will elicit their efforts and motivate them towards greater efficiency and effective and ensure their commitment to stemming security breaches in the confluence state..

Other experts believe that enhanced strategic partnerships between the federal security agencies and neighboring states would also boost efforts in combating cross-border crimes and ensure a coordinated approach to security.

When all efforts geared towards giving bite to the concerted efforts to curb crimes are executed to the logical conclusion, security experts expressed optimism that Governor Ododo- led government will to go extra mile in effectively address the multifaceted nature of insecurity in kogi.

This they add, would ensure sustainable peace and safety for kogites, other residents and those visiting or transitioning the state.

The Kogi State Security Trust Fund came into being to enhance the overall security framework to ensure a safer environment for residents and businesses in the state.

Keen watchers of security situation in the state called on the fund to ensure provision of adequate financial resources for security agencies operating in the state.
The agencies include; police, civil defense, and other law enforcement bodies to support them cover expenses for equipment, logistics, and other operational needs.

The fund should not relent in capacity building efforts through financing of training programmes and workshops to improve the skills and capabilities of security personnel, especially in modern security techniques, intelligence analysis, and community policing in keep with the global security practices.

The consensus concerning the battle against crime and criminality in Kogi State is that, the current government, under the dynamic leadership of Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo, has demonstrated a strong political will to tackle insecurity and make life more bearable for the people.

In community engagement,the fund is urged to enhance effort in supporting initiatives that foster collaboration between security agencies and local communities with a view to building trust and ensuring that security measures are tailored to the specific needs and concerns of the populace.

All said and done,the law abiding residents of kogi state strongly believe that what is needed now is the active support of all and sundry in curbing insecurity to a tolerable level.

They also believe that when more residents begin to recognize and treat security as a collective responsibility, by availing security agencies with useful information about suspicious movement in the society, safety of lives, property would be further enhanced.

According to them, the much needed peace will be attained, people will sleep with their two eyes closed and the desired development in all ramifications will be achieved in Kogi State.

Dada Ahmed,a member of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, publishes The Reporters.

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