Written by Emmanuel Ogbeche

FCTA alarmed over rising Covid-19, bandits’ influx · Blames foreign returnees · To begin community policing recruitment

Following a spike in Covid-19 cases and leading the table for new cases over the past few days, The Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, has raised the alarm.

 

 

 

 

 

The administration has also expressed worry over the influx of bandits into the territory and has indicated implementing community policing to stem the tide.

On the Covid-19 cases, the FCTA blamed the spike foreign returnees, Nigerians who recently returned to the country by the Federal Government, and people from neighbouring states who work in Abuja.

In a report by the Health and Human Services Secretariat presented by the Director of Public Health, Dr Josephine Okechukwu, at a security briefing presided over by FCT Minister, Muhammad Musa Bello, also identified self-denial and lack of adherence to Covid-19 protocols as some of the challenges.

A statement by the FCT Administration and signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Minister, Anthony Ogunlewe, noted that, “The Security Committee also received a brief from the Health and Human Services Secretariat presented by the Director of Public Health, Dr Josephine Okechukwu who disclosed that the major challenges facing the health authorities in the FCT are the issues of self-denial of the disease and lack of adherence to health protocols by many residents of the FCT.”

The statement further stated that “there were imported cases into the FCT from other states as well as from returnees from outside of Nigeria. She also called for more active involvement of the Area Councils and traditional institutions in the fight against the virus in the FCT.”

On the influx of bandits, the administration said for now the bandits are confined to the fringes of the territory, with efforts being taken to tackle the issue and also address clashes between herdsmen and farmers in some communities.

“Amongst other issues, the meeting also discussed matters relating to farmers/ herders clash which according to the security authorities has largely been resolved and steps being taken to tackle issues of banditry which are confined largely to the fringes along FCT borders with other states,” the statement further read.

In a related development, the FCT Administration said it has concluded plans to roll out its community policing blueprint.

FCT Police Commissioner, Mr. Bala Ciroma, at a security meeting chaired by the minister, disclosed that following the directive by the Federal Government for the engagement of Special Constabularies for Community Policing nationwide, and the subsequent inauguration of the FCT State Community Advisory Committee, the committee met and came up with modalities that will guide its implementation.

The police boss said the main functions of the community constabularies will be crime detection and prevention, settlement of low level civil disputes and petty crimes, criminal intelligence gathering and dissemination to the local police commanders, dealing with minor offences and social vices, assist in traffic management and school safety duties amongst others.00

He stressed that the community constabularies are to operate only within the communities in which they are recruited and are not permitted to operate outside of these locations, adding that the police will train the volunteers and provide them with uniforms and means of identification.

Speaking earlier, the minister advocated for a functional and equitable distribution of the volunteers across the FCT based on the needs of the communities.

He implored the active involvement of the area council chairmen and traditional rulers in the recruitment and deployment process.

“I want to acknowledge the full support we have enjoyed from your men and women in the field, either in respect of our various task forces that were established, as well as your fight against crime and criminality, and your overall support in all aspects of our work whenever we call you to service,” Bello said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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