Obasanjo Assures Of Improved Security

Lagos- Nigeria (PANA) -- Amid a rising wave of violent crimes across Nigeria, President Olusegun Obasanjo has assured the citizenry of improved security.
But he urged them to co-operate with the police to tackle the criminals.
"Security requires all hands on deck", Obasanjo said during his September edition of the monthly 'media chat' programme, which was broadcast live on national radio and television Saturday night.
"The police is just as good as the information, communications gadgets, mobility and help.
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available to them", he said.
The President said his administration had "started to achieve success in the area of security", listing the increase in the number of the country's police personnel from 120,000 when he took over 29 May 1999 to 166,000 currently.
In addition, he said 25,000 policemen were currently in training, while mobility and communications gadgets had been provided.
The administration has a policy of recruiting 40,000 policemen yearly.
To stop the practice whereby policemen run away from armed robbers because the criminals are usually better armed, Obasanjo said his administration had procured superior weapons for the police.
"Now we have given them something comparable to what robbers have, if not better.
Now they are more confident to go out and confront the criminals", he said.
The local media reported last week that the government had procured 50,000 AK-47 rifles from Belgium for distribution to the police, whose personnel currently carry the outdated K2 rifles, widely believed to be inferior to the weapons in the arsenal of the robbers who have been terrorising people in the past several months.
Obasanjo said Nigeria had also sought the co-operation of neighbouring countries, including Niger and Benin, "to have almost water-tight arrangements" to control crime.
Most of the vehicles snatched from their owners in Nigeria are said to end up in the neighbouring countries.
The President said that 20 such vehicles were recently recovered from Benin alone.
"Security situation cannot change overnight.
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Security will change progressively", added Obasanjo, saying he too had been a victim of the robbers.

09 september 2001 11:51:00




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