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Insecurity: How we bust Boko Haram cells in Abuja —Minister

…Goes tough on Okada

…Dispatch riders to obtain licence

MINISTER of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Mohammed Bello, yesterday, assured residents of the territory that security measures had been put in place to ensure their safety.

Bello said FCT Administration, through the security measures it put in place, busted several cells of Boko Haram within the seat of power, adding that the administration had gone ahead to search areas where Boko Haram elements were camping.

He also said motorcycle riders popularly known as Okada have contributed to the high rate insecurity in the area and have taken to criminality, thereby constituting a menace to the city.

Speaking while fielding questions from State House correspondents when he featured at the 40th Session of the State House Briefing, organised by Presidential Communication Team, in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the minister said measures had been put in place for commercial motorcycle operators and dispatch riders to obtain licence before operating in the FCT.

Asked what his administration was doing to ensure that the FCT was secured, especially as the governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule, sometime ago raised the alarm that terrorists had relocated from the Northeast and set up their cells in Abuja, the minister said there was no need for anyone to be afraid of anything, describing Abuja as the safest city.

He said: “About security, I want to tell you that the FCT is the most secured part of Nigeria today. Yes, we have insecurity here and there, it is a reality and it is a phenomenon that affects not just Nigeria but even our sub region. But what I do know is that the security agencies in the FCT are doing extremely well.

“I will say it again for every incident that you read in the papers or you see on the social media or in the radio. I tell you 10 to 15 cases have been nipped in the bud but they are not out there in the public.

“For instance, we have through the security measures, busted several cells of Boko Haram within the FCT, searching areas where they were and the kind of businesses they are doing and how they were able to blend easily within the wider community is something that cannot be divulged here.”

Speaking on the efforts to rid the FCT of the criminal menace of Okada operators, Directorate of the Road Transport Service of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, said commercial motorcyclists would now require licence to operate within the FCT and its suburbs.

The Director, Dr Bello Abdullateef, explained that apart from the traffic violations, the riders were also being used to deliver hard drugs across the city.

“The menace arising from many Okada riders is not just about traffic violations but also perpetration of crime. Okada is also used to deliver hard drugs across the city. It requires a multi sectoral approach to deal with the menace. We are introducing riders certification for those using Okada for dispatch activities,’’ he said.

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