Segun Awofadeji in Gombe
The Inspector General of Police(IG), Usman Baba Alkali, has opened the first edition of the Gombe State Peace and Security Summit with the launch of 28 operational vehicles for the newly formed ‘Operation Hattara’ Task Force.
THISDAY learnt that the three-day Peace and Security Summit is the initiative of the state government with the aim of providing an opportunity for a carefully selected cohort of experts, security personnel, government officials and other strategic stakeholders as well as community leaders to brainstorm on security issues.
They are also expected to aggregate and explore pressing internal security issues with a view to identifying new security and community pathways of mitigating them for lasting peace and stability, according to the state Governor, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya.
At the summit, which has the theme: ‘Mitigating contemporary security challenges for sustainable socioeconomic development’, the governor expressed the conviction that the participants would be able to chart a new direction to mitigate internal security matters not only in Gombe State but in the country in general.
This, according to him, was because of the calibre of resource persons invited, the security personnel and strategic stakeholders participating in the summit.
Yahaya explained that “although the present security situation in the country is generally precarious, Gombe State is relatively secure and peaceful.
“For instance, if we take a look at the Nigeria Security Tracker published monthly by Eons Intelligence (A reputable Risk and Security Consulting Organisation), Gombe State has recorded the least incidences of killings, kidnapping and other violent crimes during the first quarter of this year (2022), thanks to the combined efforts of our security agencies and other relevant stakeholders.”
According to him, “However, it is imperative to note that Gombe State is not immune and insulated from happenings in other parts of the country. We have our own share of local security threats fuelled by political thuggery, youth restlessness and unemployment which led to the emergence of the notorious Kalare group.
“The proliferation of local militia groups, therefore, calls for a proactive approach in dealing with these emerging threats and applying local strategies for tackling them.”
He stated further that through proactive measures, his administration was able to contain the menace of political thuggery and youth restlessness to the barest minimum.
The governor said this was as a result of the combined efforts of the political class, security agencies, community, religious and traditional institutions, thus, preventing it from metamorphosing into another criminal group.
In his address before launching the security operational vehicles named ‘Operation Hattara’, the Police IG, Baba, said the Gombe State Security and Peace Summit came at a crucial time when the Nigeria Police Force is working towards deepening the engagement of the concept of community partnership, technology-driven policing, and intelligence-based model in mitigating the current internal security challenges in the country.
He said: “This policing strategy seeks to address security challenges through an active citizens’ engagement in the identification, analysis, and mitigation of threats and to actualise it. The communities and strategic stakeholders have critical roles to play.”
While appreciating the governor for convening the summit, the IG said at the end of the three-day summit, it is expected that all issues of security importance would be extensively discussed and effective strategies to address them identified.