FCT Minister Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello with the AIG Zone 7, Kayode Egbetokun test driving one of the operational vehicles donated by the FCTA to security agencies in the FCT

By: Ben Ukeji, Prudence Okonna, & Sunday Shekwonya

In order to ensure adequate protection of lives and property across the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), authorities of the FCT Administration have earmarked the sum of N500,000,000 for the effective implementation of the community policing initiative of the Federal Government.

The fund is targeted to provide logistics support for the scheme, which has been fully embraced by the government and the communities in the entire 8,000 square kilometers of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

In a statement by the Director, Information, and Communication, Muhammad Sule, said the Minister of FCT, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello, disclosed this during the FCT Security Committee meeting Thursday in Gwarinpa I District, Abuja.

According to him, “the FCT Administration will make available the sum of N500 million for the implementation of the community policing initiative in the six Area Councils of the Territory”.

Bello said the Administration’s contribution to the scheme is in recognition of the importance the government attaches to the project, which if properly implemented, would curb all forms of criminality in the Territory.

The Minister, therefore, charged the Chairmen of the six Area Councils of the Territory to also contribute at least N100 million each to further boost the capability of the nation’s security Agencies in fighting crime.

Bello, who urged stakeholders in Abuja, to ensure the sustainability of the community policing project, appealed to Traditional Rulers, and Chairmen of the Councils to own the laudable strategy so as to complement the efforts of the security agencies.

His words: “This fund made available will strategically be used for the activities, training, and payment of allowances to the volunteers of the community policing”.

The Minister emphasized that crime and criminality must be fought and flushed out from the nooks and crannies of the Federal Capital Territory; thereby, making Abuja safe, adding that the security of lives and property is a collective responsibility of both the citizens and the government.

In a related development, the Minister, and members of the FCT Security Committee proceeded to Abuja Eagle Square after its meeting to inaugurate the 6o operational vehicles donated to the security agencies in the Federal Capital Territory by the FCT Administration.

The Minister at the occasion enjoined the security agencies to make judicious use of the vehicles in carrying out surveillance and other operational duties.

The vehicles, equipped with the state- of -the -art equipment, were distributed to the Security Agencies; 20 out of which were given to the FCT  Command of the Nigeria Police Force;  10 were allocated to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), FCT Command.

Others were distributed among members of the Nigeria Armed Forces, Customs, Immigration, Correctional Services, and Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), among others.

According to the Minister, the vehicles are to be maintained by the Administration for a period of three years.

The Minister had at the event, urged the  FCT Command of the NSCDC to concentrate on the protection of public facilities in view of the monumental vandalization of public assets being perpetuated by unpatriotic citizens.

He insisted that the government has invested so much in the provision of infrastructure in the Territory and would not allow them stolen by criminals.

Bello lamented that billions of naira is being lost to the activities of vandals and therefore, requested the NSCDC to immediately arrest the trend. He regretted that the stand-alone solar-powered streetlights just installed by the Administration in the Federal Capital City are being stolen.

The Minister reiterated that the NSCDC must focus on the activities of the vandals and scavengers because it cost the government a huge sum to replace the stolen items.