Swap deal with bandits paying off ― IGP

•Says 20 CCTV Cameras deployed in FCT

THE Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu has revealed that dialogue with stakeholders and swap deal entered into with bandits have led to a tremendous decrease in kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery across the country.

Adamu addressed State House correspondents, shortly after a brief security council meeting on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, said he was happy that security situation was stable in this quarter across the nation following various initiatives evolved to tackle security challenges in Nigeria.

He explained that realizing that kinetic approach to solving the spate of kidnapping and banditry was no longer effective, the government had to settle for a swap deal which was gradually paying off.

He said: “What we have done apart from the peace initiative and the dialogues that we came up with through organization of security summit, if you remember we went to the Northwestern zone of this country.

“We sat down with the traditional rulers and all the governors and the leadership of Miyetti Allah and they identified some of the challenges that are fuelling kidnapping and banditry.

“Those challenges were looked into to the extent that the bandits and kidnappers have decided to release their captives and surrendered their arms, that has contributed and also those that have refused to accept the peace initiative.

“We have been able to identify their camps especially Abuja-Kaduna road and along Birnin Gwari Niger axis and we went to the camps of these kidnappers and we dislodged some of the camps.

He noted that the swap deal was similar to the amnesty programme offered by the administration of former President Umaru Yar’Adua when militants in the Niger Delta took toll on oil facilities in their domain.

Recall that in Zamfara State, the local vigilantes, otherwise known as Yan Sakai, engaged in an exchange of captives with bandits which is a swap deal approach.

Some 25 Fulani women, men, and children held by the Yan Sakai since last April were recently released to the Commissioner of Police in the state, Usman Nagoggo.

Nagoggo had explained that the exchange was part of the agreement reached with bandits in the state, adding that the captives would be handed over to Governor Bello Matawalle and would be kept in safe custody until the bandits release their captives.

The IGP maintained that security strategies being deployed by the police were paying off as there has been steady decline in crime rate in the country.

He supported his claims with statistics, saying there was a noticeable decrease especially in Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna States, which makes the swap deal effective.

“For instance, in June, 2019, a total of one hundred and eleven (111) murder cases were reported nationally, while it reduced to ninety-nine (99) in July and eighty (80) in August.

“One hundred and eighty-three (183) armed robbery incidents were reported in June, with the rate dropping to one hundred and twenty-seven (127) in July and ninety-six (96) in August, 2019.

“Similar decline was noticed in the rate of kidnapping with one hundred and thirty-four (134) incidents recorded in June, which declined to one hundred and twelve (112) in July and further declined to eighty-three (83) in August,” he stated.

Buttressing why the swap deal became necessary, the IG said, “When talking about peace initiative, there are a lot of things that we take into consideration, you give out something to get something.

“And this peace initiative has not started with the bandits in the North Western part of this country, if you remember some years back we were having issues in the Niger Delta and those issues kinetic actions could not solve the problem until amnesty and peace initiative came up and what we had had in Niger Delta had gone.

“So, I think part of the strategy to deal with challenges in terms of either security or war, there is peaceful negotiation too. So it is not that you are a bandit and on the course of the banditry you committed crime you must be punished when there is peace initiative going on. If you refused to accept the peace initiative, of course, you have to face the consequences”.

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On growing crime rate in the Federal Capital Territory, Adamu noted that Closed Circuit Television have been placed at about 20 different points where they monitor on daily basis happenings within the FCT.

“We are expanding it to cover the remaining areas. So one of the strategies to stop all this type of crime whether it is car theft or burglary or anything that has to do with theft in the city is the use of CCTV and constant patrol for prevention,” he noted.

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Explaining what necessitated the meeting with the presidency, he said, “We just finished security meeting and we have noticed within this quarter that the security situation in the country is stable, we make comparism of what has happened in the previous quarters and this quarter and we saw that there is tremendous decrease in kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery and even acts of cultism.

“You can see the situation in Northwest, banditry has reduced tremendously, kidnapping also has gone down and we have statistics to back it, having noticed that, we have been charged by Mr President to do more.

“He wants to see a mere zero crime society in the whole of the country. So we have been charged to do more than what we are doing now in fact, in the whole of the country.

“We have also been charged to increase security along the pipelines to make sure that crude oil theft is stopped completely because the loss that the country is facing in that area is not tolerated. So we have changed to increase our security activities in that direction to make sure that crude oil theft is stopped completely.

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“It is like comparison per se, but giving an example of how negotiation and dialogue can bring peace. Even in terms of war, you go into dialogue so as to achieve a certain level of peace, that is what I am trying to say. So if dialogue can bring peace, why do you have to use force, that is what I am just trying to say”.

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