- State now safer – Govt
Kogi State has recorded about 177 cases of kidnapping in the past two years, investigation has revealed.
Police records statistics, sighted by The Point indicated that between January and December 2015, there were 88 reported kidnap cases in the state, while 89 of such incidents occurred and were reported to security agencies in the state between January and June 2016. But when contacted, the Governor Yahaya Bello administration assured that the security situation in the state was still under control.
Further findings indicated that although the state was currently confronted with security challenges in its three senatorial districts, namely, Kogi Central, Kogi East and Kogi West, the highest number of assassinations and kidnap cases were recorded in Kogi Central within the period and it accounted for over 51.5 percent of the whole.
However, a security chief in the state, who pleaded anonymity, expressed disappointment with the Bello administration’s handling of security matters. The security chief, an assistant commissioner of police, said, “Let me tell you the truth about security that this government fails to know: be it at the level of the family, a ward, local government, state level and even federal, no government can ensure security when the citizens are hungry, because they have not received salaries for nearly two years now. “No matter how armed we are, we cannot do magic.
How do you expect a hungry man not to collaborate with criminals like kidnappers? He will collaborate with kidnappers because he will get a means from them.” He disclosed that the worsening cases of kidnapping in the state in recent times had been traced to the activities of some persons working as informants for kidnappers.
He added, “Informants are now everywhere in the state. If they see you arrive from Abuja in a big car, they would pick a cell phone and call the gang. Within 10 minutes, the unsuspecting visitor is trailed to his next destination and kidnapped.
“So, kidnapping in Kogi is a money making venture made to thrive because the average man is hungry.” He added that the state government should stop pretending that it was not aware of the root causes of the insecurity.
According to him, “Kogi State is a civil servants’ state, because no industries are working, no serious business ventures, apart from petty traders, who in turn depend on civil servants to sell their goods. “Kogi State is not like Lagos.
Here, more than 80 per cent of the working class people are civil servants; they depend on their meagre salaries to service their dependants. As it is, 90 per cent of the said civil servants have not been paid.
“No reasonable man should expect that the state would be secure under the circumstance, even with arms. As a security personnel, I will always welcome discussions that will help. The problem we have at hand now is our governor, his inability to finish the screening and pay workers on time is demoralising, and it is pushing our youths into crime.”