By Bashir Abdullahi El-Bash
Known to be a man of peace throughout his life of public service, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje does not joke with security.
Before he was first overwhelmingly elected as governor in 2015, Kano state had experienced incidents of insecurity that had put the lives of members of the public at risk.
For instance, there were widespread violent attacks in parts of the city by ‘Yandaba’ criminal gangs who raped, robbed and assault residents at will.
However, soon after Governor Ganduje assumed leadership, he in collaboration with security agencies developed a viable and elaborate security arrangement that significantly brought down the rate of crimes across the state.
Governor Ganduje’s security strategy relies heavily on improving intelligence gathering and equipping security agencies with modern equipment and gadgets to effectively fight crime.
In this article I wish to high-light some of the extraordinary efforts of Governor Ganduje in making sure that Kano remains secure and peaceful so as to achieve economic development and prosperity.
Purchase of N500 million high-tech Tracker
We all know how dangerous and dare-devil criminal elements especially kidnappers who sought refuge in Kano state, were eventually traced and arrested.
People of Kano state just wondered why every criminal that has recently evaded arrest elsewhere would be arrested in Kano.
The answer lies in the procurement of a high-tech digital tracker by Governor Ganduje at the mighty sum of N500 million.
According to Governor Ganduje, this digital tracker has the capability to retrieve voice calls data of up to two years, adding that a lot of weapons have been recovered, and kidnappers arrested.
In addition, the tracker, covers not only Kano state but the entire Northwest Zone! This is an outstanding testimony of Governor Ganduje’s extreme passion for security not only in his state but across Nigeria
The governor, who received officials of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Kano chapter led by Barrister M.A Lawal at the Government House, said the digital tracker has led to the arrest of top kidnap kingpins in the state.
According to Governor Ganduje, the kidnappers of Magajin Garin Daura, the hoodlums that attacked the deputy governor of Nassarawa state and the notorious Taraba-based kidnap kingpin Hamisu Bala Wadume, were all arrested with the help of the tracker.
“This tracker is doing wonderful work. Security is being improved significantly. Very soon we are going to install CCTV across the state for us to have more secure state. For your information many more strategies are put in place to help secure our communities,” Ganduje revealed.
He however recalled that there was an incident where the tracker led to the discovery of a kidnapper’s mother, who was picked by security agents and swapped with hostages. The governor added that the kidnap network was also busted.
Security summit to be held
Also, to consolidate current achievements recorded in community policing, Governor Ganduje revealed that a Security Summit would be organized by his administration very soon.
” Very soon we are organising Summit on community policing. I am assuring you that, you will be involved and you would be part of our resource persons. I understand that you have special concern for security of the land. This is highly commendable,” the governor told the NBA chairman.
“What we have in place is one of the contributing aspects for our attainment of this safer environment, with the Divine help and intervention from Allah, The Almighty. We also have the support and cooperation of both the community and security agencies,” he said.
“Any efforts would not be too much, so long as, security is the main target in focus. With the special help from Allah, we have two major things that help our attainment of this appreciable level in securing our dear state,” he added.
The governor also noted that community policing and synergy of security agencies has done a lot in addressing security challenges in the state.
“Our security agents are working hand in hand towards a safer Kano. No unnecessary rivalry between them. They all believe they have roles to play towards safer environment,” he said.
Ganduje supports Migrants e-Registration by NIS
Similarly, Governor Ganduje noted that the ongoing electronic registration of foreigners by the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has come at the right time to check the influx of migrants into Nigeria.
“We need to be scientific in our approach, particularly on issues of security. It is pertinent to make it clearer that Nigeria Immigration Service under Muhammad Babandede, is really taking us to the next level,” Ganduje said, referring to the Comptroller-General of the NIS.
The governor, who personally attended the launch of the Migrant e-Registration exercise at the Immigration Training School in Kano, said the high influx of foreigners to the state should be given attention.
“The cosmopolitan nature of Kano makes it to have a large concentration of non-citizens. This should be given attention very well. I am therefore calling on all foreigners to come forth and make sure that they are duly registered,” he said.
Governor Ganduje also observes that collection of data on foreigners “is a sure way of securing the state,” and promised to support the initiative.
“We are grateful and proud with the Comptroller General for this initiative introduced into the assigned responsibilities of the Service. This move is patriotic and encouraging from all ramifications,” he said.
N318 million for Army Training Centre in Falgore
Doguwa local government area of Kano state has been identified as a flashpoint for criminals because it hosted the sprawling Falgore Forest, which provides a safe haven for kidnappers and cattle rustlers.
To end the activities of criminals, the Nigerian Army decided to establish a training centre at the heart of the large forest.
In June this year, the Ganduje administration contributed a sum of N318 million on the construction and equipping of the Falgore Army Training Centre.
He announced the donation of the funds during the closing ceremony of 1 Division, Nigerian Army Inter Brigade Corporal and Below Competition, held at Bukavu Army Barracks in Kano.
He said the military presence in the forest would deter bandits, kidnappers and other criminal gangs operating from there.
“We are going to lay the foundation of this important project soon and it will be a milestone in addressing security challenges in the area,” he had said.
The governor said his administration would soon unfold a well-articulated blueprint on community policing, aimed at ensuring that everybody is involved in security matters.
“We have started efforts in this direction by engaging community leaders and Imams and we held a stakeholders meeting in Karaye and very soon we shall have another one at Rano Emirate,” he had said.
Ganduje added that the state government would also meet with stakeholders in Tudun Wada local government where the Falgore forest is located.
N400 million spent on police formations
In May 2018, the Ganduje administration approved the sum of N400 million on construction of several police formations in parts of Kano state.
The aim of the projects was curb crime and encourage community policing, Governor Ganduje had said.
The projects include two Area Commands at Court Road, Tarauni local government and Tudun Wada, Tudun Wada local government area at the cost of N123, 364, 230, a Police station at Panshekara in Kumbotso local government at N59, 589, 240 and two Police stations at Rijiyar Zaki and Zango respectively, in Ungoggo local government at the sum of N 101,841, 438. 50.
The rest are construction of a Police station at Court road, Tarauni local government area and a Fire Brigade outpost at Dakata, Ungoggo local government area at the total cost of N71, 626, 643. 58.
Also awarded by the government is the construction of a police station at Ganduje town in Dawakin Tofa local government area as well as the construction of twelve Police residential quarters in Kano metropolis.
Ganduje had announced this, at the foundation laying ceremony of the Area Command and an adjacent Police station at Court Road, Tarauni local government in the state.
This was after the governor had earlier donated vehicles and gadgets to the Kano Police Command.
At the occasion, former Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim Idris had praised Governor Ganduje for “doing very well in terms of encouraging the Police to deliver”. pointing out.
“Kano is now a model for other states to emulate in terms of support to the Police” Mr Idris had said.
These commendable efforts by Governor Ganduje, our Chief Security Officer Par Excellence, have made Kano the safest state in Nigeria! Other governors are also trying to emulate Kano’s security strategy in order to succeed.