FCT Kidnappings: Special Intervention Squad Not Appropriate Response

Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, recently inaugurated a Special Intervention Squad (SIS) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to address the increasing rate of crime in the territory, but there are concerns about its effectiveness.

Development Diaries reports that according to the IGP, the squad possesses the capacity for rapid intervention and effective containment of significant security breaches like those currently threatening the suburb of the FCT.

The recent abduction of six sisters in the Bwari area of the FCT has further exposed the extent of the current state of insecurity plaguing the nation and also underscored the helplessness of Nigerians in the face of such dangers.

Although the IGP reassured Nigerians, especially residents of the FCT, of improved security, it is expected that Nigerians will take such assurance with a pinch of salt.

Speaking to Development Diaries on this issue, the Executive Director of the Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), Okechukwu Nwanguma, does not seem to agree that the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) setting up an intervention squad is an appropriate response to the rise in kidnappings in the FCT.

‘I am not sure that setting up a special intervention squad is the appropriate response to the escalating spate of kidnappings in Abuja and indeed, in other parts of Nigeria’, he said.

‘This looks more like a knee-jerk response to the pressure on the IGP to rise to the occasion. I think there already exist so many tactical teams in the NPF that could do what this new team has been purportedly set up to do.

‘The question is, how equipped are the police generally to tackle crime? Do they have the motivation and the firepower that can match those of the bandits’? Nwanguma asked.

In response to the escalating insecurity in the nation’s capital and other parts of the country, implementing comprehensive intelligence-driven strategies would seem like the most effective response.

Nwanguma further questioned the inability of the police force to track kidnappers despite huge investments in security technology, including linking SIM cards to national identity numbers (NINs).

‘There is no other conclusion than that there is compromise and collusion by some powerful vested interests within government who are probably the sponsors and beneficiaries of crime’, he added.

‘If the NPF has not been able to tackle kidnapping and other crimes before now, it is not because a special team does not exist to do so. It is because there are powerful people behind the crimes or there is no political will to do what needs to be done to tackle crime’.

Recall that Egbetokun, during his decoration ceremony as IGP, said he felt like a tiger and a lion, ready to chase away all the criminals in Nigeria.

Now, Nigerians await the tiger and lion in him to emerge and chase away all criminals terrorising innocent citizens in the country.

Development Diaries calls on the IGP to match words with action, address corruption issues within the police force, invest in modern technology for crime detection, and engage in proactive measures to restore public trust and confidence in law enforcement.


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