Worried by the spate of insecurity in the Toro Local Government Area of Bauchi State, Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, on Saturday, called on the local council and traditional leaders to be eternally vigilant against strangers coming into the area from neighbouring states.
Governor Mohammed stated this while flagging off his administration’s empowerment programme, Kaura Economic Empowerment Programme (KEEP), in the area.
The governor lamented that Toro LGA is facing security challenges, adding that this is so not because residents of the area are criminals but because of the strategic location of the area as it borders the north-west, north-central and north-east geopolitical zones of the country.
He submitted that its geographical location was responsible for the worsening security situation.
According to him, the security joint task force in the state always drew attention to the area, lamenting that the local government area is the only one in the state that is almost defying solutions.
He, however, declared that notwithstanding, his administration is doing more in tackling the situation and would continue to do more.
“I am calling on the people of Toro Local Government Area to know that security is a communal issue. We have a joint task force that is always drawing attention to Toro.
“I am disturbed over the spate of abductions and insecurity. It is the only local government that is almost defying solution but we are going to do more and we are doing more,” the governor said.
He submitted that the presence of Lame forest, which he said was one of the largest in Nigeria, in the area was a reason people were coming to settle there, saying that though people were allowed to stay in the area, criminals were not welcomed in the state.
“Of course, we have people coming to settle in the Lame forest. So I am calling on the local council and the traditional leaders to open their eyes, to shine their eyes.
“We are not unwelcoming to strangers coming into the state but we don’t welcome criminals into our state. We don’t have to be selling the forest.
“The Lame Bura forest is one of the largest in Nigeria; it is almost destroyed. But certainly, as a government, we are taking very strong measures to ensure that this thing does not continue,” Governor Mohammed said.
While saying that the people of the local government area have a special place in his heart because of the population area, the governor said the exclusion of the area from most government projects was as a result of scarcity of resources and not because they did not vote for him during the previous election.
Mohammed then assured the people that his administration would not only embark on more road projects that would open up the area but also carry out additional empowerment programmes for women and youths.