Donated vehicles and real challenges confronting police in North Central | Dailytrust

Donated vehicles and real challenges confronting police in North Central

For effective policing anywhere in the world, adequate equipment including weapons and techniques are needed. To tackle the increasing security challenges in Nigeria such as banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling and farmers/herders clashes, standard operational vehicles are required. To this end, it was learnt that from 2015 till date, some governors in the North-Central and spirited individuals have donated vehicles to the police. Daily Trust reports on the condition of those vehicles vis-a-vis the level of insecurity in the region.

 

Hope Abah Emmanuel (Makurdi), Ibraheem Hamza Muhammad (Lafia), Romoke W. Ahmad (Niger), Ado Abubakar Musa (Jos) and Dickson Adama John (Lokoja)

Benue 

In the past five years, dozens of vehicles were donated to various security agencies in Benue State to enhance the fight against insecurity and other forms of crime. Although the exact number of vehicles donated to the police command could not be verified at the time of this report, Daily Trust Saturday recalls that in September 2017, the state government under Governor Samuel Ortom presented 16 Hilux vans to security agencies in the state.

Making the presentation to heads of security agencies in the state, Ortom had said the vehicles would be distributed among the Police, Army, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Department of State Services (DSS) for patrols in four strategic locations in Kastina-Ala, Gboko, Makurdi and Otukpo local government areas.

Similarly, in 2018, the governor donated five operational vehicles to security agencies in the state. A former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris had received the vehicles for the command.

In the same vein, in May 2020, the command received four vehicles from the Benue State Government, which also distributed over 50 to security agencies, including the police, in December of the same year.

However, police sources confided in our correspondent that some of the vehicles were destroyed at the height of herders/farmers crisis in the state. They also said that while few needed repairs, some have been abandoned and others were in good condition.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Benue Command, DSP Catherine Anene, said she could not immediately ascertain the number of donated vehicles they had within the time under review. She, however, confirmed that the command received four vehicles from the state government in May and another five in December 2020.

Kogi

In Kogi State, at least 51 vehicles were donated to the police command from 2016 till date. The present administration of Yahaya Bello had in 2016 procured 24 Hilux vans for the command, while others were presented to the Nigerian Army, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and other security outfits, including vigilante groups. Months later, additional 10 vehicles were given to the command by the state government as part of efforts to fight crime across the state.

Daily Trust Saturday also learnt that recently, additional 15 vehicles were purchased by the state government to enhance the operations of the police, with a promise to purchase for each of the 21 local government areas.

The state also benefitted two operational vehicles donated by the Dangote Group in 2018. This was confirmed by the police command.

At the time of filing this report, vehicles in the Kogi State police command were in different conditions. While the condition of some of them is according to their years of usage, few others are rickety.

The Police Public Relations officer of the command, ASP Williams Aya, confirmed to our correspondent that at different times the state government had refurbished the vehicles.

Plateau

In Plateau State, police authorities could not give the actual number of vehicles donated to them in the last five years. But Daily Trust Saturday recalls that in 2018, Governor Simon Bako Lalong, in collaboration with the 17 local governments in the state, donated 51 patrol vehicles to security agencies.

When our correspondent visited the headquarters of the state command, there were no grounded vehicles in sight as was the case in the past. Seven operational Hilux vans were seen in good condition.

A senior police officer who said he was not authorised to speak on the matter, however, said they were going to all the stations to identify grounded vehicles belonging to the command, for repairs. He said that to the best of his knowledge, only two vehicles were donated to the command by the Dangote Group in the last five years.

Our correspondent saw one of the two cars donated by Dangote Group along the Gada-biyu area of Jos North Local Government Area in good condition.

When contacted, the spokesperson of the command, Ubah Gabriel, said he could not quote the number of vehicles donated to it in the period under review as the transport officer was not in the office at the time of filing this report.

However, the Commissioner for Information and Communication in the state, Dan Manjang, said Governor Lalong had in 2018 donated some patrol vehicles to the police and other security agencies to help in restoring peace to the 17 local government areas.

Niger

Our correspondent observed that some of the vehicles donated by Dangote Group to the police command in Niger State are still functional. They are often seen stationed in strategic places in the state.

But security analysts said operational vehicles used by the police were not enough, especially considering security challenges in the state.

Several efforts to get the number of vehicles received by the police since 2015 did not yield positive results as the Public Relations Officer of the command, ASP Wasiu Abiodun, refused to give information.

Nasarawa

In Nasarawa State, our correspondent gathered that the command got two out of the vehicles donated by the Dangote Group in 2018.

A source said the vehicles were Chinese; hence the command has been having challenges in getting the spare parts. “The cars are difficult to maintain as their spare parts are not available,” he said.

He called on organisations and communities to assist the police in tackling insecurity as the state is very big and links many parts of the country, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Daily Trust Saturday learnt that the command needs about 30 operational vehicles to effectively police the state. It was also learnt that lack of operational vehicles has been affecting operations in some divisions.

Daily Trust Saturday reports that while the police in North Central, like their colleagues in other parts of the country, have received hundreds of vehicles through donations, they are yet to fully take charge of the space considering rising cases of security breaches.

Till date, military operatives are normally drafted to suppress issues relating to serious kidnapping incidences or armed robbery.

Speaking on this, Salihu Bakhari, a retired military officer said there was the need for donors including governors and private individuals to address other logistic challenges confronting the police in addition to giving them operational vehicles.

“From the little study I conducted, the police need more training and weapons to confront the enemy. However, because of the fact that there is a lot of money in buying vehicles, most of the governors prefer to go for them and at the end of the day, not all the vehicles donated to the police and indeed other security agencies are deployed for the purpose they are meant for. Donors should help by providing surveillance equipment for the police because they would help in stopping criminals from terrorizing the society.

“Sadly, vehicle donation is a yearly ritual and I wonder why the foot soldiers are always complaining that they don’t have vehicles to pursue the enemy…We have to check this because it means the vehicles are usually taken somewhere. The police high command must also reorient its officers and men to embrace good maintenance culture,” he said.

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