A retired Nigerian Army Commander, General Anthony Atolagbe, on Monday, suggested that a special squad similar to the one recently launched by the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) be established in the six geopolitical zones of the country to tackle rising insecurity.
He said on Channels Television’s Politics Today, emphasising that forming a similar squad with mobility in the six geopolitical zones will result in a significant drop in criminal activity in the country.
The IGP had on January 17, 2024 launched a special team tagged, ‘Special Intervention Squad’ to reduce the spate of kidnappings in Abuja. In neighbouring Plateau State in the North Central geopolitical zone, marauders are wreaking havoc on residents, killing hundreds of innocent persons in the last one month.
General Atolagbe, a former Field Commander of the Joint Task Force (CJTF) Operation Safe Haven in Jos, the Plateau State capital, said the positioning of such formations would guarantee quick response during security emergencies.
“The squad that the IG of police is launching in the FCT is long overdue. These issues will continue to reoccur, so why don’t you move to the six geopolitical zones and site a group each with mobility?
“We are not talking about cars. So, you position two helicopters or three with them so that when there is any report coming from any of the states within that geopolitical zone, they can move in in less than 20 minutes.
“If we had this type of thing in the past I think it would have been able to give a quick reaction because if you check the December incident in Plateau State, it took so long and the information won’t come to you on time,” General Atolagbe said.
The retired army commander also called for installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) in public places to forestall terrorist attacks, emphasising the need for more proactive measures in the fight against insurgency.
He insisted that the government must jettison old ways and device new ways in tackling insecurity in the country to be able to record reasonable success.
“We only need to look inward, change the dynamics of what we are doing right now and find new things to do. Get the FCT for example to have a security outfit, it’s not just the president that is in Abuja.
“A lot of institutions are here and we cannot just allow an individual kit himself up with IEDs and just go and destroy them overnight. When we have this kind of arrangement on ground, there will be security,” he said.