The new Benue state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bashir Makama has praised Governor Samuel Ortom for the commitment he has shown in the security of lives and property in the state. Makama who spoke in an interview with Punch Newspaper Crime Editor, Emma Nnadozie and Peter Duru, said the state police command had enjoyed tremendous support from the governor who is very keen on security.
He said: “I must sincerely appreciate the state, particularly the State Governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom, for his pragmatic approach to issues of security in the state. He has taken it very seriously. We have all sorts of cooperation and encouragements coming from him so that we will meet the dire security needs of the people of Benue state. There is no gainsaying that the state government has been of tremendous help to us and I thank him for that.”
The commissioner said, through their strategic efforts, the spate of kidnappings the state had significantly reduced.
“I can assure you that in the last three weeks, we’ve not heard of any incidents or reports of kidnapping in the state. That does not mean that we are resting on our oars. We are doing our best to continue to checkmate it. For instance, where we discover that the profile of kidnap is high, we take another step. Where we identified that the vehicles that are popularly used for kidnap, such as vehicles with deep booth which can manoeuvre on unfriendly terrain, the Toyota Corolla car popularly called ‘dog yash’, of course, we commenced and mounted operations to have some sort of data base on them so that if any is used for that purpose, it could easily be detected. Since we did that, it has helped us to record tremendous results.”
Concerning clashes between Fulani herdsmen and indigent farmers, Mr Makama said, “The clashes are less now which has to do with the strategy we adopted and tremendous efforts we have been making to ensure that peace reigns in the state. Besides, the rainy season has also made it possible by providing enough pasture and grazing space for cattle. We have also resorted to dialogue. As I talk to you, we called various leaders of different communities including the Fulanis, the farmers, community leaders and talked to them. We are talking and we will continue to talk to them to ensure that the menace is nipped in the bud permanently.”
He concluded by urging residents to be law abiding, security conscious and report suspicious persons and activity to the relevant security agencies, in order to forestall crime in the state.
“Well, the people of the state should be law abiding. They should live within their means. They should report any suspicious movement within their neighbourhood and environment at anytime to the Police. They should be security conscious and always follow simple security tips. Lit your surroundings, don’t give lifts to strangers; ensure that nobody is trailing you when driving. Ensure that strangers are not locking around the entrance of the gate of your house. Don’t open your gates to strangers; know the strangers that come in and out of your home. These are some of the numerous charges we give out daily.
“I urge the people to apply themselves to these rules and also report suspicious movements to our control room through the telephone numbers which we distributed all over the state. They should make distress calls without delays.” Makama said.