The Federal Government on Thursday alleged that some unidentified persons in the country’s rural communities are collaborating with bandits to carry out their heinous crimes, especially abductions.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who made the allegation, insisted that kidnappers cannot ferry a large number of victims through the rural communities in trucks and motorcycles without being noticed by the locals.
The minister however urged security agencies to cultivate good relationships with people in communities for intelligence gathering, noting that it is the best way to defeat kidnappers and bandits.
Aregbesola, who spoke while decorating the Deputy Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service, (NIS), the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) and the Deputy Commandant-General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) with their new ranks in Abuja, said the security challenges facing the nation constituted a drain to the resources of the country and the energy of security personnel, adding that security agencies should make the difference in restoring peace back to the country.
He said: “We have been in the throes of bandits, insurgents and other baddies, draining resources and psychic energy. Our agencies must rise to the plate.
“NSCDC in particular should maximise their grassroots penetration for intelligence gathering. The criminals live in our homes, offices, farms, bushes and forests.
“They roam our streets and engage in day-to-day activities with us. On the surface, they are just as ordinary and uniform like the rest of us.
“I will find it difficult to believe that it is possible to take such a large number of students through a reasonably long distance on open trucks and motorcycles without anyone seeing them along the way.
“It will be hard also to believe that some other Nigerians are not aware of their dens and the nefarious activities going on there as we speak.
“It is important therefore, that you cultivate deep relationship with the people in your communities so they can trust you with the vital information needed for securing the nation. We are at a point where we cannot, but make a big difference.
“Criminals will keep getting more sophisticated to be ahead of you; but to beat them, you have to be ahead of their game at all times. Playing catch up with criminals can be deadly and very costly.
“Keeping known and unknown criminals out of our borders is therefore, an unfinished business. You cannot rest on your oars.”