Mr Abdullahi Sule, Governor of Nasarawa State.
Cecilia Onah, Lafia
Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, has convened an expanded security meeting with a view to addressing some emerging security threats that are capable of disrupting the relative peace in the state.
The expanded security meeting, which had in attendance security chiefs, selected local government chairmen and traditional rulers, held at the Government House, on Monday.
Reviewing the agenda for the meeting, Sule raised alarm over the proliferation of illegal production of small arms and ammunition in the state, which was made known during the recent visit by the zonal coordinator of the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons.
“It’s one of the things that we will discuss today because it has brought out a lot of concerns about our state. The concern is mostly about the production of small arms and ammunition within the state.
“They have given us the list of all those producing these weapons here in Nasarawa State, and the number is alarming. We have to discuss it and find a way out of it. Some of them are actually at our backyard. Our traditional rulers are not even aware of what is happening. But I am happy with the intelligence report at our disposal,” the Governor said.
Another issue that he brought to the table for discussion and eventual resolution, is the threat being posed by the activities of miners in areas where commercial quantities of the sought after mineral was discovered, particularly in Nasarawa Local Government Area.
“The latest discovery of commercial quantity of lithium in Nasarawa State has brought of blessings but also lots of challenges. In the past, there have been lithium issues but communities have been managing it, especially around Nasarawa Local Government Area and especially around Udege Development Area.
“It is the same with few other places but it’s alarming in that area. Especially with the recent report in that area that quantities have been discovered in large number which have attracted some investors and some illegal miners and this has become a major problem.
“It is one of the issues again for us to discuss today. I am happy that all the parties are here so that we will be able to hear more. It will give us an understanding of the havoc activities of miners will cause on the environment,” he stated.
Sule also raised the alarm over the influx of bandits fleeing from crisis spots in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State, with intelligence report identifying some of these bandits around Mangar and Ambaka areas, in Wamba Local Government Area, as well as in Lafia East development area.
“The security crisis recently around Mangu Local Government Area in Plateau State while it’s still ongoing, it has led to a lot of migration of people with some of those bandits crossing into our state mostly from Mangu and Bokkos area,” he said.
Part of the agenda of the security meeting include reviewing the movement of Fulani herders for grazing in areas bordering the neighboring Benue State, which poses potential threat to security.
“Recently, there have been movement of herders especially Fulani herders. This may not pose a big security challenge because they are moving to grazing areas but unfortunately those areas are also problematic because they are at the border between Keana and Guma Local Government Area in Benue State.
“It will be a recipe for problems down the line and around Tunga area which is our major concern,” the Governor pointed out.
He used the opportunity of the meeting to commend security agencies operating in the state for carrying out operations in Akwanga and Kokona Local Government Areas, which led to the arrest of a notorious kidnapper identified as Lagudi and some members of his gang.
The Governor equally commended especially the 177 Guards Bridgade Keffi, as well as the police for their efforts in curtailing the activities of the notorious Yan Shara cult group in Keffi.
Sule however called for additional efforts by the security agencies to further prevent the Yan Shara from relocating to other areas.
“I also want to commend the efforts of especially 177 and the police when it comes to the issue of Yan Shara in Keffi. I call for additional effort because, again, even with the curfew, they have relocated to the Yara area. That is where they are operating, committing lots of havoc and their notorious activities. I therefore call on the security agencies to put more effort,” he added.
The Governor equally drew attention of the participants at the meeting to recent reports about armed robbery attack on the palace of a traditional ruler in Minna, Niger State, urging for steps to be taken to secure palaces of traditional rulers in the state.
In a chat with journalists shortly after the meeting, Nasarawa State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Baba Maiyaki, disclosed that fruitful resolutions were arrived at the meeting to protect the relative peace in the state.
“We just had an expanded security meeting convened by Governor Sule in respect to the security situation of the state. Among other things discussed mostly are issues of kidnapping, banditry, issues of mining sites, as well as movement of herders.
“The security meeting took a decision over these issues. We are able to reach fruitful resolutions aimed at bringing the situations under control. Security agencies have agreed to work together as a team,” the CP said.