Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello

Juliana Francis

The Kogi State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Kingsley Fanwo, has revealed that the state government and security agencies in the state were together to ensure the rescue of children kidnapped by gunmen in Ajaokuta Local Government Area.

The three children were said to have been kidnapped on Wednesday night in Kaduna State Ajaokuta Steel Township Complex.

In a press release made available to Julianafrancisnews.com, Fanwo said: “As a Government that is accountable to the people, we wish to make the following statements concerning the breach of security in Ajaokuta Local Government Area and efforts at retaining the trust of our people in protecting them; Kogi State is known for distinguishing herself in ensuring the security of lives and property of not only the residents but also travellers across the state which shares borders with nine other states and the Federal Capital Territory. In as much as we activate dynamism in our security architecture and strategy, we recognise the fact that some cowards will sometimes try to undermine our efforts. What we have always done in such circumstances is to go after the criminals, apprehend them and bring them to justice.”

He explained that immediately report was brought to the attention of the State Government about the incident, “our administration has spread our security net in working with the conventional security agencies and local vigilante groups to ensure the abducted children were rescued alive and the cowards who abducted them brought to book.”

He added: “In Kogi State, the life of everyone matters. The Governor and the Government of Kogi State understand that the number one responsibility of the Government is the protection of the lives and property of the citizens. The Kogi State Government will never shirk such responsibility. As much as we would not want to divulge everything about the current operations to rescue the children unhurt which we know will be achieved very soon, we wish to assure Kogi residents that Government will remain vigilant in protecting the people. We will continue to work with security agencies to retain our enviable position as the safest state in the country today.”

Fanwo noted that the attack on a Ceramic Company in Ajaokuta that fateful night was unfortunate and condemnable.  He said that the Police and other security agencies were currently combing the area to apprehend the perpetrators of the heinous act. He also stated that investigations were still at an early stage now.

“We will rely on those reports when they are clearer and ready to brief the public. As a government, we have the capacity to rise to the challenge to defend our people. Security has been beefed up around the area and the affected company is cooperating with law enforcement agents to unravel the mystery behind the attack. We won’t succumb to the violence of criminals. We have been defeating criminals before and we will defeat them again. Kogi is a no-go area for criminals. We urge the people of Ajaokuta and indeed, Kogi State in general to go about their normal businesses as we have put in place, stringent security measures to ensure the safety of all. The government will spare no resource to ensure our cherished children are rescued alive and unhurt. The Governor is personally coordinating the rescue efforts in collaboration with the security chiefs in the state as well as local vigilante groups. There is already a massive deployment to the area to achieve results,” said the commissioner.

He reiterated that the ban on nose masks, brothels, and shanties subsists were measures deployed to avoid giving criminals a hiding place in the state.

Fanwo also said: “Hotels have also been directed to properly profile their guests as failure to do that will attract severe penalties. Our Taskforce and Operation Total Freedom will intensify surveillance to keep our dear state safe. We also urge the Federal Government to resuscitate the Ajaokuta Steel Project as some of the abandoned facilities and structures in the town harbor criminal elements.  Kogi People, our heroics in Security under the leadership of Governor Yahaya Bello were made possible by your cooperation and taking ownership of the security plans of the Government. We have apprehended many criminals and averted many potential blood-bath situations because of your volunteering intelligence. We need to do more now to promote security without which there can’t be prosperity. Community leaders, political actors, and everyone must plug into our security architecture and efforts at keeping our state safe. Be assured that the Governor is personally leading these efforts and from the front. To our friends in the media, we urge you to observe the rules of crime reporting and do everything possible to avoid sensationalism when reporting crime.”

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