We will clamp down on killers in Benue in 4 weeks — CP Makama

We will clamp down on killers  in Benue in 4 weeks — CP Makama

The Benue state Police Commissioner, Bashir Makama in this interview spoke with Peter Duru the recent Zaki Biam massacre, Fulani insurgency in parts of the state and other sundry issues.


Why are we suddenly recording increased violent crime rates in parts of Benue state?

We don’t expect crime rates to be zero anywhere in the world, that is the graph of crime. It fluctuates at every given time. When I came here I met different crime situations and now we are recording a different situation. The fact is that what was happening by the time I came is not the same thing that is happening now.

The Fulani situation is a seasonal thing. It happens within this period, that is why we have a situation where herdsmen having clashes with farmers, but we are doing our best in that regard.. If you go through your records you will discover that the magnitude of what happened in the years past is not the same with what we have at the moment because we have tried as much as possible to curb it until a permanent solution is found .

Bashir Makama

The only thing is that we are taking proactive measures to ensure that we reduce the carnage. That is what we are doing and we will continue in that direction. I believe that the number of casualties cannot be compared to what we had in the past so we will continue to ensure that.

The issue of the wanted militant leader ‘Gana’ and his gang has continued to be a burning issue in the Sankera axis of the state, what is your command doing to tackle that challenge?

It’s just like what we said the situation in the last six months is not the same today, the way we were dealing with the Gana syndrome six months back is definitely not the same now. Then we were having a lot of intelligence on his activities and that of his gang and we were trying in our own little way to ensure that they did not operate.

But since we closed up on Gana himself with the remaining few lieutenants he has, it became very difficult for people to volunteer information on him. So it will be good if information is coming. But he has gone back to his enclave where everybody sees him as a demi god or somebody that if you mention his name he will appear where you are because of the fear he has instilled in the citizenry. Everybody now fears him because of the fear of the unknown.

But he conducts his activities which are premeditated. He knows his targets, we don’t know the targets. He knows how to get there but we can’t be everywhere at the same time, especially if he finds any soft target and strikes. The only thing we can do is to follow up and see how we can move forward which you know we are working hard to do always and moving forward despite the difficulty in getting the cooperation of the community where he operates.

We know you have been holding meetings with leaders of communities and stakeholders to address the issue of Fulani insurgency in the state, how far have you gone with the series of meetings?

Meeting is a normal phenomenon where you sensitize people on what they need to know and also get information from them. It is a continuous measure aimed at managing and fighting crime and identifying and processing same. So it’s going to continue like that until we see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Yesterday you were in Zaki Biam after the recent massacre where the governor promised increased patrol of the area. How far have you gone with that arrangement?

The team promised by the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris has arrived the state. Shortly we will all meet with the security adviser and after that proceed to see the Governor. So we are working towards achieving that purpose, I want to assure you that we will soon finish the operation. We are all working to ensure that peace reigns in Benue state.

Are you impressed with the performance of the officers and men in your command?

Certainly, we are all working together and our result speaks for itself, if not I know how to deal with it. My only problem is the lopsided media reports. It sometimes puts me off, because sometimes objectivity is jettisoned and sentiments are being whipped up.

How long will the special operation in Zaki Biam last?

Well, I want to give myself four weeks and we are done with it.

Within that period, do we see you arresting the wanted militant leader?

Just wait and see what will happen within the time frame.

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