Governor Ododo Tackles Insecurity Headlong In Kogi State


On Friday, April 26, 2024, the Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo, took the State to a higher notch in the fight against insecurity with the ‘Unveiling of Operational Vehicles for the Kogi State Vigilante Service’. Forefront News Editor-in-Chief, AMOS DUNIA, who was in the State and witnessed the colourful event, noted that it was a pragmatic approach aimed at addressing the worrying security situation in the Confluence State which serves as a major link between the Northern and Southern States of the country. Excerpts.

While other State Governors who assumed office about a year ago are still grappling and struggling to chart the road map for definite direction to take in addressing the worrying and unacceptable insecurity that is ravaging their states, Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo of Kogi already has a workable blueprint to tackle the cankerworm headlong.

In less than 100 days in office, the ebullient and ever-smiling Governor Ododo has brought simplicity into governance by demystifying bottlenecks usually created by some people in the corridors of power to make administration cumbersome. The open and transparent style of governance that has made it possible for more openness with the people, enables him to feel first-hand their pulse, thus enabling him to make proactive and decisive decisions devoid of bureaucratic hiccups.

With his colleagues from the Northern States opting to visit the United States of America to learn how to address insecurity in Nigeria, the ever-pragmatic Governor Ododo knew exactly what he needed to do by moving and adopting practical methodology. Indeed, without the usual media blitz and fanfare, he launched the ‘Kogi State Vigilante Services for Community Policing’ intending to achieve practical and sustainable results for the safety of lives and property across the State.

The Governor started by quietly establishing the State’s internal security network with the recruitment of an initial five thousand (5000) able-bodied personnel that were picked from the 21 Local Government Areas of the State in equal proportion. The recruitment of the 5000 personnel has not only addressed the dicey issue and challenges of insecurity but, also gone a long way in addressing the high unemployment rate in the State.

For a start, the Governor Ododo-led administration purchased 105 vehicles and 42 motorbikes that were distributed on an equal basis amongst the 21 Local Government Areas for effective patrols, monitoring and policing of the communities to check the activities of criminal elements.

Taking into consideration that Kogi State is sharing boundary with about eight other states namely Benue, Edo, Enugu, Ekiti, Kwara, Niger, Ondo and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the propensity to experience invasion and influx of criminals from other states into Kogi is quite high as some of the criminal elements may want to use the connecting State to evade arrest or take refuge and escape from being apprehended.

Conscious of this fact, the Ododo-led government’s renewed onslaughts against criminals have become operational with the recent launch of the ‘Kogi State Vigilante Services for Community Policing’ at the Muhammadu Buhari Square with a clear directive by the Governor to the internal security service that their operations in all communities shall be based on 24 hours response by the well trained joint team of vigilante service men and conventional security agencies.

Importantly, he explained that the government’s policy drive is targeted at enhancing intelligence gathering and shorter response time to distress calls as a model for community policing in Nigeria.

Governor Ododo, in flagging off the programme, recalled that the recent launch of the Metropolitan Quick Response in Lokoja and other major towns in the state and the unveiling of the operational vehicles were part of the evolving security measures and strategies geared towards ensuring that the State government keep the environment safe and secure as well as build on the solid foundation of the security architecture laid by the immediate past administration in the state.

However, he was quick to state that as the administration embarks on a consistent review of the security situation in the state, his resolve to maintain law and order in all parts of Kogi remains total, even as he vowed that the fight against criminals in the Confluence State shall be won.

In the Governor’s words; “These operational security vehicles which is the first instalment of several hundred to be provided over the next few weeks will advance the safety and security of lives and property in all parts of the state as it stands as one of our most significant operational response yet to the recent upsurge in criminal activities in some parts of the state.

“During my inauguration, I promised to embark on people-oriented programmes and projects that will directly touch the lives of our people. No doubt, to achieve the objectives of our programmes and policies, Kogi State must remain safe and secure for everyone.

“We cannot, and we will not allow criminal elements to undermine the progress and prosperity we have worked so hard to achieve in our state,” the Governor vowed.

In his usual humble nature and giving honour to whom it is due, Governor Ododo commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, whom he referred to as father and leader, for his unwavering commitment to reversing the spate of inherited security challenges in the country, stressing that as a government, Kogi State remains in total support of the President in his determination to take the fight to the terrorists in all parts of the county as have been witnessed with the recent onslaughts to degrade cells of bandits and terrorists across Nigeria.

In his pragmatic manner, the Kogi State Chief Executive assured President Tinubu of the State government’s commitment to a comprehensive approach in addressing security challenges in the State and the entire country, adding that the State shall continue to identify with the President, standing with him shoulder to shoulder in bringing the remnant of criminals and their sponsors to justice in no time.

“Mr President is aware of the strategic implications of any breach of security in Kogi as a gateway state to the North and the South and that is why he is giving us all the support required to ensure the security of lives and property in all corners of the state.

“As such, this new addition to our security master plan will involve all security agencies feeding from credible intelligence and direct community engagement with our people in the farms, markets, homes and every part of the community to ensure that our people are safe to engage in legitimate economic activities,” the governor said.

To further drive home his resolve to fight insecurity in the state, Governor Ododo said that the current administration’s efforts towards guaranteeing food security by feeding the people and producing food for other states in the country are tied to the security of lives and property in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Tinubu.

In his words; “Therefore, our renewed onslaught against criminals in the state will be operational in all communities with the ability to provide 24-hour response by a joint team of vigilante service men and conventional security agencies to enhance intelligence gathering and shorter response time to distress calls as a model for community policing in Nigeria.

“Let me call on our people to continue to support Mr President and remain united behind his policies and programmes as he is working hard to fix the immediate challenges faced by the nation. We must avoid any act capable of causing any breach of peace and security in the state.

“Let me restate that nothing, not even the antics of unpatriotic noise makers and sponsors of criminals will deter us in our efforts to keep our state safe and to make it more attractive for investors and legitimate businesses from all over the world.”

The Governor, not known for rhetoric since his assumption of office, said the safety and security of every life and property across the length and breadth of Kogi state remains the top priority for the administration, stressing that the unveiling of the security operational vehicles was a further testament to his administration’s collective resolve to tackle security challenges in the state head-on with enhanced speed and overall efficiency of the security operatives.

For him, the gallantry and dedication of the men and women of all the security agencies and the State vigilante services must be appreciated, especially for their sacrifices in the line of duty, promising that his Government shall remain grateful for their services in keeping the state and country safe.

According to Ododo; “Security remains the responsibility of everyone and we must not lose our guard at any point in time. Together, we shall overcome the challenges of insecurity and emerge stronger than ever as a state and country”.

That is certainly the hallmark of a determined, committed, focused and service-oriented leadership by a governor that has already demonstrated that the welfare and security of the people should and must take a premium position in line with the provisions of the Constitution that define what governance should be.

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