The Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, has launched a series of confidence-building visits to area councils in the territory, pledging to make Abuja inhospitable for criminal elements, particularly kidnappers. Wike’s move comes in response to the escalating incidents of kidnappings and violence perpetrated by bandits in the region.
During his visit to Bwari town, the headquarters of Bwari Area Council, the minister convened a town hall meeting with residents, traditional leaders, and representatives from security, defense, and intelligence agencies. The gathering also included various stakeholders in the community. Minister Wike stressed the urgency of addressing the security challenges and declared that security agencies would take decisive action to curb the activities of bandits.
Wike emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating, “Security is one of the key priorities of Mr. President’s administration.” He disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari had recently convened a high-level security meeting in response to the spate of attacks, particularly in Bwari. The minister underscored the determination of the government to prioritize the safety of lives and property, vowing that “it is no longer going to be business as usual.”
In response to the security concerns, Wike announced that President Buhari had granted approval for the provision of all necessary resources to enhance the capabilities of security agencies. He assured the community that measures would be taken to ensure that security agencies were well-equipped to address the challenges effectively.
Acknowledging the geographical significance of Bwari, which shares boundaries with Niger, Kaduna, and Nasarawa states, Wike highlighted the government’s commitment to making it difficult for bandits to operate in the area. He noted, “I know how big Bwari is…we will make it hot for them.”
The minister also urged the collaboration of the public in providing crucial information to security agencies. He emphasized the role of traditional and community leaders in assisting with intelligence gathering. Wike warned potential informants, stating, “You won’t sleep again. Informants, you won’t sleep again.”
In addressing the issue of crowdfunding for ransom, Wike discouraged the practice, asserting that it inadvertently supported the activities of terrorists. He urged the public to refrain from resorting to such measures, emphasizing the need to discourage kidnappers.
The chairman of Bwari Area Council, John Gabaya, recounted recent incidents of kidnappings and violence in the region. He highlighted the attacks on various communities, including Tokulo, Kuduru, Zuma village, Dutse-Sagwari, Padan-Gwari Village, and Kawu Village.
Minister Wike concluded by assuring residents that the government would remain actively engaged in addressing security challenges. He stated that the periodic interface with communities would continue, reinforcing the commitment of the administration to ensure the safety and well-being of citizens in the Federal Capital Territory.