Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has appealed to the police to provide more security for vulnerable places across the country in order to prevent attacks by Boko Haram insurgents.
The minister, who paid a courtesy visit to the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, yesterday in Abuja, said ‘’As we have told Nigerians on many occasions, our military has decimated Boko Haram and uprooted them from the territories they once controlled. Out of frustration, they now attack soft targets, 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 responsible for 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 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 organisations, community development councils and other necessary stakeholders,’’ he said.
Alhaji Mohammed specifically urged the police to provide 24-hour, cost-free protection in premises of broadcasting establishments.
‘’May I also use this opportunity to formally convey to the inspector-general of police the message from the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, BON, when I met with their members last week in Abuja. They asked me to implore you to provide 24-hour police protection, at no extra cost, at the premises of their organisations. I am hereby presenting and endorsing their demand,’’ he said.
The minister hinged his endorsement of the request by BON on the fact that they have agreed to partner with the federal government in its National Security Awareness Campaign, an inter-agency campaign being spearheaded by the ministry of information and culture.
He said their collaboration with the federal government in this important campaign could ‘’make them more vulnerable to possible attacks and aggravate the already tough conditions under which they operate.’’
In his response, Arase said the visit was an opportunity for the police to draw from the vast and fertile experience of the minister to enrich policing in Nigeria.
“In this regard, it is appreciated that the 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 grassroots on their civic responsibilities in relation to national security and crime prevention,” he said.
Arase disclosed that with the support of President Buhari, 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-organised crimes including terrorism and other crimes of national security.
He pledged to partner with the ministry in the public sensitisation against terrorism, saying the police high command would fashion out modalities for the immediate deployment of policemen to provide adequate security for media houses across the country.

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