In its determination to fight insecurity across the state, provide employment opportunities and restore the sanctity of peace among the people of the state, Bauchi State Government is set to recruit not less than 20,000 youths who will be trained as members of neighbourhood security outfit.
The recruited youths will form part of the foundation of the establishment of a security outfit which will be modelled after the Amotekun security outfit in the South Western part of the country with the sole aim of tackling insecurity in the state.
The assertion was made by the State Governor, Sen Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir shortly after being sworn in for a second term in office as Bauchi State Governor alongside his Deputy, Mohammed Auwal Jatau by the State Chief Judge, Justice Rabi Talatu Umar.
According to the governor, the outfit named Bauchi State Vigilante and Youth Empowerment Agency is modelled after the Amotekun outfit.
He said that the outfit will stabilize the substantially effective security infrastructure already existing at the local government levels in the State saying that the 20,000 youths will be recruited under the first phase of the programme.
Bala Mohammed said that “Going forward, we have decided to put into action the already established Bauchi State Vigilante and Youth Empowerment Agency that is modelled after Amotekun in the South West.
“This security agency will stabilize the substantially effective security infrastructure already existing at the local government level.”
“It is expected that about 20,000 youth will be recruited under the first phase of the programme. It is important to state that the vigilante has been very effective in checking the activities of those who infiltrate our rural areas with the sole intent of displacing the indigenes,” he said.
The governor however warned unscrupulous elements saying, “To such people, let the word go forth from here that while we will always welcome visitors on genuine legitimate missions, we will never allow our land to be taken over by bandits coming from some other states. To put it starkly, what we have achieved we will maintain at all costs.”
Bala Mohammed assured traditional rulers, religious and community leaders in the State that they will continue to play their God-given roles as the ‘first line of defence’ as his administration strives to checkmate the marauders including those involved in illegal logging, sale of charcoal and destruction of traditional forests warning that “these heinous activities must stop.”
He, therefore, enjoined traditional rulers to take this as a sacred duty because to whom much has been given much is expected.
He stressed that “and with all due respect, we can no longer tolerate the nefarious activities of these people. Therefore, going forward, traditional rulers will be held responsible for such mindless plundering of the state’s resources under their watch.”
The governor, however, said that Bauchi State has been relatively safe and secure, even in the face of ‘the Nigerian security pandemic’, pointing out that the state will not gloat over it because everywhere in Nigeria is supposed to be safe.
According to him, “It is imperative to point out that achieving the reputation of the safest state in the North-East did not come by accident but a product of seamless and rigorous collaboration between the Bauchi State Government including the state vigilante and the patriotic and selfless security agencies, noting that despite some man-induced security breaches, he is satisfied that insecurity is not as pervasive as it is in some states.”
The governor also said that in recognition of Bauchi’s vast land boundaries with seven states, his government also intends to promote the establishment of a highly successful ‘inter-state’ security model that he initiated when he was Minister of the Federal capital territory.
He further said that such a collaborative arrangement involved the FCT and all the states bordering the capital city namely: Nasarawa, Kaduna, Niger and Kogi States, explaining that in the context of Bauchi, such an arrangement will include Kano and Jigawa to the North, Taraba and Plateau to the South, Gombe and Yobe to the East and Kaduna to the West.
According to him, “That is why the state is pursuing a partnership with the Chinese in deploying modern technology for surveillance and tracking to boost our security architecture. The Chinese Ambassador and his officials have visited Bauchi to express their strong commitment to collaborating with the state to achieve this objective.
“Our primary focus remains peace and security and the welfare of our people and everybody living in Bauchi State. In sectoral terms, we shall not only prioritize education and agriculture as critical areas with inestimable value chains that will impact all our plans, but I also hereby declare an emergency in these two sectors. They will rank only with staff salaries and security as first-line charges critical to the survival and future progress of the state.”
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