The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday charged the Nigerian Police that it was now left for them to deploy more security measures towards protecting soft targets in the country from Boko Haram terror attacks.
This was as he reiterated that the military has decimated Boko Haram and uprooted them from the territories they once controlled. The minister spoke when he paid a courtesy visit to the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Solomon Arase, in his office in Abuja,
According to him, “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.”
He called on the police to step in to protect these vulnerable places, leveraging on its large network, its investigative capacity and the fact that its officers reside largely among the people.
Mohammed suggested that they can do this by liaising with transport workers, market women, local government councils and police public community relations councils, faith-based organizations, community development councils and other necessary stakeholders.
He further urged the police to provide 24-hour, cost-free protection for the premises of broadcasting establishments, explaining that “when I met with their members last week in Abuja. 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.”
Responding, the IGP disclosed that the visit afforded the police an opportunity 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,” he said.
The police boss noted that with the support of the President, the police leadership had commenced projects aimed at enhancing the technical intelligence capacity of the Force, 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 the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in sensitizing the public against terrorism, assuring that the police high command would fashion out modalities for the immediate deployment of policemen to provide adequate security for media houses across the country.