Mike Ejiofor, a former Director of the Department of State Security (DSS), believes that the Federal Government needs to think in terms of technology to curtail the spate of killings on Kaduna-Abuja road. He spoke with ISIOMA MADIKE
The killings on the Kaduna-Abuja road are assuming a frightening dimension now. What do you think is responsible for that?
Well, it’s due to the high volume of traffic on that road, which makes it attractive to these people, more so when high profile politicians use the road. It could also be because of the forest around there that provides cover for them.
What should the government do to nip the issue in the bud?
It’s gone nipping in the bud; we are already in a crisis situation. So, the government shouldn’t think of taking immediate step but a decisive action because we are going into election now, which may escalate the situation on that road. You look at Zamfara and all those Middle belt states, killings have assumed a frightening dimension in those states and with the politicians arming other miscreants, they will still go ahead to do more. So, the government should look for permanent measures to stem the tide. I think what we lack mainly is area surveillance technology. We need to deploy a lot of technology to do this job because it’s beyond all this manual and human elements. When there is an incident, police ordinarily are human beings; they can’t go into the forest out of fear and safety of the victims. They can’t go in there and start exchanging fire with the kidnappers or robbers as the case may be because the lives of the victims will be jeopardized. Technology to me is the way to go now if we must achieve success on that road.
That looks like a long term approach. In the immediate, what should the government do?
Those technologies are not expensive to acquire except the aircraft and other armament, others are relatively easy to acquire. But in the interim, we need to intensify patrol on the road. You see what they are doing is to avoid the static check points. For instance, on the Auchi road alone we have more than 100 police check points and the personnel are not there doing what they are supposed to do. They are there extorting money from those they are supposed to be protecting. So, I believe the government needs to put in more funding, bring vehicles for them to be patrolling the road instead of mounting uncountable road blocks and extorting money from the hapless individuals. Those things are no longer helping. What is needed is effective patrol of that road instead of the static patrol because they know the sports where the police are and would easily avoid those areas and would usually go to other areas prone to attack. But if they are on patrol, giving the road effective patrol coverage, it will be difficult for the criminals to operate.
But the IGP special squad is reported to be doing a great job on that road. Are you saying their efforts and strategies are not enough?
You know it’s like this issue of Boko Haram, many a times the military will tell you they are arresting and killings the sect members and the police will be parading the suspects, yet the thing is not abating. So, it’s either somebody is not telling the truth or there is something we are yet to know about. They can’t continue to tell us same thing every time. Every day they kept telling us they arrested 10, 20 with arms but the killings are not abating. I think somebody is definitely not telling us the truth.
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