Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, Governor of Gombe state, says his administration will continue to provide peace and fight insecurity to the state.
The governor said this on Tuesday while declaring open Gombe State Peace and Security Summit with the theme “Mitigating Contemporary Security Challenges for Sustainable Socio-Economic Development”.
At the summit, the governor also commissioned operational vehicles provided by Gombe state government to maintain law and order in the State in an initiative code named “Operation Hattara”.
Inuwa Yahaya said the peace and security summit will provide an opportunity for security personnel, government officials and other strategic stakeholders in the maintenance of law and order to aggregate and explore pressing internal issues with a view to identifying new security and community pathways of mitigating them for lasting peace and stability.
“We are all aware that our dear country is passing through a delicate period of immense security and economic challenges and risks. Criminal elements all over the country are united in their determination to threaten our common values, destroy our means of livelihood and make life brutish and miserable for our people,” he said.
“Since the year 2010, our gallant security forces have been battling to contain a brutal insurgency waged by the Boko Haram terrorists in Borno which rapidly spread to other states in the North-East, North-Central and North-West Subregions. Although the collective efforts of our men and women in uniform have succeeded in stopping the bombing campaigns of the Boko Haram insurgents, the colossal human and economic damage caused to our communities is still with us”.
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The governor said while the country was struggling to arrest the menace of Boko Haram in the North-East, another security threat in the form of rural banditry, emerged in some parts of North-Central and North-Western Nigeria with significant impact on human and the economic well-being.
Yahaya also said 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 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,” he added.
“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.”
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He said his administration was able to contain the menace of political thuggery and youth restiveness to the barest minimum through the combined efforts of the political class, security agencies, community, religious and traditional institutions thereby preventing rom metamorphosing into another criminal group.
“It is in this regard that we established the Gombe State Security, Traffic and Environmental Corps (GOSTEC) were we aim to employ not less than 2000 youths with the first batch of 500 corps already engaged to support the statutory agencies in the state in maintaining law and order. This home grown initiative is aimed at harnessing the energies of our youths in state building in line with our human capital development initiative”.
While speaking, the keynote speaker, Usman Baba Alkali, Inspector General of Police (IGP) said the summit would not have come at a better time when the country is battling with security challenges in all fronts.
IGP Alkali said community engagement like the Gombe State peace and security summit by the state government falls perfectly within the framework of the vision of community policing.
“To this extent the Nigerian Police Force conveys its full and wholehearted support to the Government of Gombe State under the leadership of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya for the vision in convening this strategic summit,” he said.