By Daniel Tyokua
The minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Muhammad Bello has said the territory needs more police personnel.
He tabled the demand when he paid a courtesy and appreciation visit to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, at the Force Headquarters in Abuja.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, by Anthony Ogunleye, Chief Press Secretary to the minister, said Bello also informed the IGP that the FCT has keyed into the community policing policy of the government and has profiled able bodied men and women suitable for the task of community policing.
He however called for an increase in the number of volunteers allotted to the FCT.
The Minister said that the city of Abuja had expanded over the years and with it the population and inevitably an increase in crime and criminality.
While thanking the Police Force for the near elimination of the “one chance” crime which hitherto was synonymous with the FCT, he asked for the deployment of more personnel and equipment such as vehicles and advanced crowd control equipment.
He commended the IGP for the creation of a Police Division at Tungan Maje, an FCT community bordering Niger State.
Bello decried a noticeable trend whereby non-residents of the FCT will come into the city for public demonstrations and in the process, disrupt the peace of the city, mainly for publicity purposes.
The Minister said residents of the FCT are peaceful, law abiding citizens and there is the need to protect them and their means of livelihood.
He also informed the IGP that the various Commissioners of Police posted to the FCT have been the main drivers of the FCT Security Committee and pledged the continuous support of the FCT Administration to the Nigerian Police Force.
In his response, the Inspector General of Police, extended his appreciation to the FCT Administration for the support it has given to the FCT Police Command over the years and promised the provision of needed equipment to the Command to enhance the fight against crime and criminality in the Territory.
The IGP assured the minister that the Police force was ready to train the Community Policing Volunteers from the FCT at the Administration’s expense and also called for synergy between the Minister and governors of states bordering the FCT for effective tackling of crimes that cut across the states.