The Minister of Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, yesterday commenced confidence-building visits to area councils in the territory, declaring that security agencies would, henceforth, make it hot for bandits.
His visit came against the backdrop of incessant kidnap and killing of victims by bandits in the area.
Wike, who visited Bwari town, the headquarters of Bwari Area Council, held a town hall meeting with the residents, traditional rulers, security, defence and intelligence personnel in the area and other stakeholders.
The minister is expected to also visit other councils in the coming days.
At the event, Wike declared that enough was enough and that informants working for the bandits would not be able to sleep among decent residents.
He said: “Security is one of the key priorities of Mr. President’s administration. Yesterday (Tuesday), Mr President summoned a high-level security meeting, which includes all the service chiefs, minister of defence, and my humble self, because of recent attacks, particularly in Bwari.
”So, currently, it is one of the key priorities Mr. President’s Renewed Hope Agenda will want to face squarely.
“It is no longer going to be business as usual. My coming here today is to show you that we are serious. To all those bandits, enough is enough. We will do everything in our power to make sure this does not happen again.
“Everything has to be done to protect lives and property. Without protection of lives and property, we have no business in government. My coming here today is to assure you that we are very serious.
”That is why just this morning (yesterday), Mr. President has given me approval to provide everything required to the security agencies. And just like what Etsu-Bwari and Sarkin-Bwari said, it is not by merely talking, we are serious.
“Security agencies will not have any reason to say they are not equipped; we will provide everything required. I know how big Bwari is, I know you have boundaries with three states – Niger, Kaduna and Nasarawa.
”I know because these bandits were chased away from the Northeast, so they are making their way here, we will make it hot for them.”
Wike also sought the assistance of the people, especially with regards to providing information to security agencies.
“Without information, there is nothing we can do and that is where you come in. Traditional and community leaders, you have a great role to play. You need to assist security agencies with information.
“In the next few days, you will see action from the security agencies. There could be informants, even here within this meeting hall. I don’t care who you are. I don’t care. I am the minister of FCT. You won’t sleep again. Informants, you won’t sleep again.
“This message is not just for Bwari but to all the area councils. From time to time, we will come here and interface with you. We won’t sit down in the city,” Wike said.
He advised the public against resorting to crowdfunding in a bid to raise funds for ransom, saying it helped terrorists to launch more attacks.
He stated further: “We have to stop this idea of going to radio to say we are going to raise money. When you do that, these bandits are happy that people are concerned and raising money. I know you are concerned that your loved ones are with kidnappers but we must do everything to discourage them.”
Earlier in his remarks, chairman of Bwari Area Council, John Gabaya, recalled that in the week leading to last Christmas, kidnappers violently attacked the peaceful agrarian community of Tokulo, seriously injuring several residents and abducting some of the villagers.
“This was followed by another attack on the border community of Kuduru where two people were killed and the kidnappers also abducted some residents.
“Before the end of December 2023, kidnappers also invaded Zuma village, a suburb of Bwari town, killing two persons and abducting some others.
“Sadly again, within the first few days of the new year, kidnappers attacked Dutse-Sagwari, a community along Dutse -Bwari expressway. Several people were also abducted during this attack.
”This sad incident was closely followed by another attack on Padan-Gwari Village, where kidnappers abducted some villagers, too. And most recently, kidnappers launched another ferocious attack on Kawu Village, during which they injured several people and kidnapped some.”