1 The Kogi government on Saturday pleaded with the federal government to resuscitate the Ajaokuta Steel Company Ltd.
The state’s Information Commissioner, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo, observed that the company’s site was rapidly becoming a haven for criminals,
He pleaded in a statement released in Lokoja following a series of reported criminal activities in the Ajaokuta local government area in a short time.
2 The most recent, according to Fanwo, are the horrific killing of three police officers and five vigilantes, the abduction of three children on Wednesday, and the killing of six people, including two expatriates and two police officers.
3 “Already, the abductors of the three children aged between five and eight years have called to demand a ransom of 10 million naira for their release.
4 “We hereby urge the federal government to urgently resuscitate the Ajaokuta Steel Company Ltd. as some of the city’s abandoned facilities and structures harbor criminal elements.
5 “The government should do something drastic about resuscitating the business to help ward off criminal elements.
6 “Nevertheless, we will not succumb to the violence of criminals.
seven We have defeated the criminals before and we will defeat them again.
8 Kogi is a no-go area for criminals.
9 • As a government, we have the ability to rise to the challenge of defending our people against these elements,” he said.
ten The commissioner said that in the meantime “security has been tightened in the area and the company concerned is cooperating with law enforcement to solve the mystery of Friday’s attack on the convoy of expatriates during which two of their drivers were also killed.
He said the Kogi government was working in synergy with security agencies to save three children abducted from Ajaokuta on August 3 unharmed and alive.
According to him, the governor is personally coordinating rescue efforts in conjunction with state security chiefs as well as local vigilantes.
12 He said there was already a massive deployment of security personnel in the region to achieve results aimed at regaining the trust of our people in the government to protect them.
13 “Kogi is known for distinguishing itself in ensuring the safety of lives and property not only of residents, but also of travelers across the state which shares borders with nine other states and the Federal Capital Territory.
14 “As we activate the dynamism of our security architecture and strategy, we recognize that some cowards will sometimes try to undermine our efforts.
15 “What we have always done in such circumstances is to pursue the criminals, apprehend them and bring them to justice,” he said.
16 Fanwo, however, called on community leaders, political actors and everyone in the state to “connect to our security architecture and our efforts to keep our state safe.