By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
The Bauchi State Government was forced to adopt some stringent measures to contain the security threats posed to the state by the mass influx of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Geidam town in Yobe State, following attack by Boko Haram insurgents.
Governor Bala Mohammed spoke of the state government’s determination to nip in the bud the foreseeable security threats shortly after the security council meeting held on Monday at the Government House, Bauchi.
Secretary to the Bauchi State Government (SSG), Muhammad Sabiu Baba who briefed the press on behalf of the governor, said that the meeting resolved for joint security agencies patrol teams for surveillance in the four Bauchi Local Government Areas neighbouring Yobe state.
Alhaji Muhammad Sabi’u Baba who gave the four Bauchi LGAs neighbouring Yobe state as Darazo, Dambam, Zaki and Gamawa, explained that the security surveillance would also check the likely infiltration of Boko Haram insurgents into the state through the affected LGAs.
He said, “The implications of what has happened in Geidam is a lot of influx of people moving into Bauchi state from Yobe state which would put a lot of strains on our facilities and resources, and considering the kind of movement, the outcome of which Boko Haram activities with high security implications”.
According to him, the meeting Monday was to examine implications of the influx, the security threats and plan on how to contain them from the Bauchi state side, saying the government held the meeting with the commissioner of police, director DSS, Commander civil defense, Brigade Commander, 33 Artillery Brigade, and the head of Air Force Unit in Bauchi.
He explained that the security chiefs have assured the state government of their maximum cooperation in the attempt to have joint patrol of the areas concern, saying however that security is the responsibility of all citizens.
“We did not expect that the security agencies alone would tackle this problem, so all hands should be on deck including the traditional institutions and religious groups, and it is expected that we will profile with anybody coming into Bauchi state, because some people are coming in with weapons and it is the profiling that would help stem that kind of problem”.
The Bauchi State Government Scribe therefore stressed the need for reporting any strange face or activity to the security agencies, stressing however that details of the security strategies are not for public consumption
Alhaji Sabi’u Baba disclosed that the criminals have reportedly scuttle MTN mast in Gamawa LGA in order to bog down security apparatus and facilitate their nefarious act, whereas five of them arrested were being interrogated.
Such attempt to dismantled MTN facilities, he said, are usually done by criminal elements in an attempt to make security impossible in that area so that they may move in and perpetrate their activities, and “This could be seen as a major threat identified but luckily they have been apprehended and the equipment recovered”.
Baba further explained that government is sensitizing the public to report anybody that they were not comfortable with because a person you trust and knows his antecedents may eventually be the same person that will attack you, and ‘Such is the kind of sensitization we want to bring to the public so that they understand of harbouring such people or not reporting them.
On issue of overstretched facilities, the Bauchi Government’s Scribe said the movement of people from one location to the other, wherever they go the facilities in the host communities will be overstretched, such as water, accommodation and even food has to be shared.
But the influx may move in big numbers, so they are more in Gamawa now and villages around, as government is already taking stock in collaboration with the chairman of the Gamawa Local Government Council who was also part of the state security council meeting Monday.
The SSG also spoke of giving humanitarian intervention to the Yobe displaced persons into the neighbouring Bauchi Local Government Areas of the state as, according to him, the state government would not shy away from such palliatives
Also speaking, the Bauchi state commissioner of Police, Mr. Sylvester Abiodun Alabi disclosed that five suspects have been arrested in connection with the vandalization of MTN facilities in Gamawa local government area of the state.
The CP who said that the suspects are undergoing interrogation, noted that despite the fact that police are been overstretched, the challenge is been bridged with active collaboration between the police and other sister security agencies.
“In Bauchi State we are having a robust and good cordial relationship with sister security organizations, the police, army, civil defense corps, including the vigilante and other security outfits who are domicile in other communities to ensure that security is guarantee”, Alabi concluded.