The deteriorating security situation in the Federal Capital Territory, particularly the satellite towns may not be unconnected to poor infrastructure in the nation’s capital.
Aside from the city centre that is well developed and the Area Council headquarters which had acquired the distinction of being tagged glorified villages, satellite towns in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) occupy an unenviable position of housing a high preponderance of FCT population.
These satellite towns and some parts of the ‘developed’ areas lack basic technologies such as Closed-circuit Television, CCTV, also known as video surveillance which could aid in tracking criminal activities in the city.
Through surveillance cameras, the police can both prevent crimes from happening and can quickly solve criminal cases with material evidence.
Many countries in the world now employ public video surveillance as a primary tool to monitor population movements and to prevent crime and terrorism, both in the private and public sectors.
However, the situation in Nigeria is totally different as only a few government and private facilities have been able to install the surveillance video.
Another essential amenity lacking in the city that could also help in tracking criminal activities is the solar street lights.
The criminal elements usually invade communities and unleash terrors on innocent residents during the dark period.
Newsmen observed that most deadly attacks that have been carried out in the city recently happened in the dark when the identities of the assailants can hardly be ascertained.
Some of the satellite towns where insecurity is currently ravaging include, Bwari; Kubwa; Karshi; Kuje; Kusaki–Yanga; Dobi; Anagada and Gosa.
Some residents who spoke with news correspondent identified lack of CCTV as part of the factors fueling insecurity in the FCT, Abuja.
A trader at the Bwari market, Ngozi A. Johnson lamented the level of criminality in the area, particularly in the market.
According to him, “Imagine we have CCTV mounted in some strategic areas in the market, we wouldn’t be losing our goods to these mischievous persons who only believe in making themselves rich by stealing what belongs to others.
“I know very well that with the sophisticated technology being employed in other parts of the world, the kind of security situation we experience here in Nigeria wouldn’t have been.
“It is time for the government to spend more on developing the nation as that will in turn help curtail the security challenges.”
Another concerned resident, Ahmed Tana, a resident of Kuje told our correspondent that underdevelopment has contributed to the security crisis rocking the nation’s capital.
“In other countries, whether day or night, everywhere is illuminated and that helps in curtailing crimes in such places.
“Even when crime occurs in those places, investigation is always easy for the security personnel due to technology.
“There was a robbery somewhere here recently at the main road and no one could identify even the plate-number of the vehicle the armed robbers used because everywhere was dark.
“Nigeria needs to wake up and follow other nations as the entire world goes digital”, he said.
Efforts to get comments from the Federal Capital Administration and the FCT Police Command proved abortive as both persons contacted declined speaking with our correspondent.
However, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB) had recently said it was set to urbanise eight FCT satellite towns which includes, Jikwoyi, Gwagwalada, Kuje, Dutsen-Alhaji, Abaji, Orozo, Zuba, and Kwali.
According to the FCT Minister of State Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, the Administration is planning to provide increased budgetary allocation to support critical infrastructure development outside the city centre, notably roads and bridges, water supply and sanitation, primary healthcare and renewable energy solutions, amongst others.
“The onus is on us to continue to find solutions to the attendant multi-dimensional consequences of rapid urbanisation as we strive to provide liveable spaces both within and outside urban centres,” she said.
But newsmen findings have revealed some of the street lights installed on major highways in the city are mostly not functional, putting the nation’s capital at a high risk of insecurity.
A commercial driver, Ali Yusifu told newsmen that most of the street lights don’t work at night, especially at the dead of the night while returning from business.
He said, ” I work mostly at night, but around the dead hour of the night, your heart is in your mouth because everywhere is dark. Is this supposed to be the capital city of a country?”
Newsmen observes that among the satellite towns in the nation’s capital, only a few streets in Kubwa have solar lights with very weak illuminating capacity. The rest satellite towns always struggle with criminals at night.
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