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Information Minister Requests Police To Beef Up Security At Vulnerable Places; Media Houses

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has appealed to the police to provide more security for vulnerable places across the country and on the broadcasting establishments, so as to prevent attacks by the Boko Haram insurgents.

Mohammed made the appeal when he paid a courtesy visit to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Solomon Arase, in his office Abuja, Tuesday.

The Minister said: ”As we have told Nigerians on many occasions, our military has decimated Boko Haram and uprooted them from the territories they once controlled. What the terrorists are now engaged in are attacks on soft targets, by which I mean highly-vulnerable places like markets, motor parks, as well as worship and entertainment centres, etc.

”Herein lies the important task of the police, the body statutorily given the role of maintaining law and order. The police, leveraging its large network, its investigative capacity and the fact that its personnel reside largely among the people, are now required to step in to protect these vulnerable places. This they can do by working with transport workers, market women, local government councils and police public community relations councils, faith-based organizations, community development councils and other necessary stakeholders”.

Alhaji Mohammed urged the police to provide 24-hour, cost-free protection for the premises of broadcasting establishments.

”May I also use the opportunity of this visit to formally convey to the Inspector-General the message from the Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria (BON), when I met with their members last week in Abuja.

He indicated appeal on special security on Electronic media houses was a request by members of the Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria (BON), when he met with them in Abuja last week. He explained “They asked me to implore the Inspector-General to provide 24-hour police protection, at no extra cost, for the premises of their organizations. I am hereby presenting and endorsing their demand”.

The Minister hinged his endorsement of the request by the BON members on the fact that they have agreed to partner with the Federal Government (FG) in its National Security Awareness Campaign, an inter-agency campaign being spearheaded by the Ministry of Information and Culture.

Alhaji Mohammed further said their collaboration with the FG in this important campaign could ”make them more vulnerable to possible attacks and aggravate the already tough conditions under which they operate”.

IGP Arase in his response said the visit gave opportunity to the police to draw from the vast and fertile experience of the Minister within the national space to enrich policing in Nigeria.

“In this regard, it is particularly appreciated that the Hon. Minister could deploy the broad network of his ministry to support the leadership of the Nigeria Police in advancing the concept of police-community partnership and to aid in enlightening the general public down to the grass roots on their civic responsibilities in relation to national security and crime prevention,” Arase stated.

The Nation’s Police boss disclosed that with the support of President Buhari, the Force leadership had commenced projects aimed at enhancing its technical intelligence capacity, with a view to strengthening their operational competence and managing highly-organized crimes, including terrorism and other crimes of national security.

He pledged to partner with Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in the public sensitization against terrorism, promising that the police high command would fashion out the modality for the immediate deployment of its men to provide adequate security for media houses across the country.

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