Poor intelligence gathering gave room to Benue robbery: Abba Moro


Senator Abba Moro, representing Benue South, has blamed the weekend robbery in Otukpo on poor intelligence gathering by the security agencies.

Senator Moro made the declaration on Tuesday while speaking with newsmen shortly after the Senate plenary asked the police to investigate the incident.

Hooded armed men stormed five commercial banks last weekend with explosives and sophisticated weapons, killing the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, for Otukpo, and three other officers, including several other persons.

The lawmaker said it was surprising that despite several security checks in the senatorial district, the armed men, numbering about 60, stormed the city and carried out their nefarious activity unhindered.

While he expressed strong reservations about the call for state police, Senator Moro insisted that what was needed was better coordination among the existing federal agencies.

He said, “When issues like this come up, we must resist the temptation to trash institutions. I am not against state police.

The major problem we have with institutions like the police is a lack of preparedness. I want to ask, where was the intelligence gathering that the Police, the DSS, and the NSDC didn’t know?

“We have several security checkpoints; there is the police, the Nigerian Security Service, and Civil Defence Corps that have joined the roadblock effort.

“There were no countermeasures. You can see the villagers running after the robbers. Where were the police? I think there is a need for us to identify the security architecture with proper equipment; otherwise, we are in trouble here.

What we need to do is address the security architecture of Nigeria. “The ninth Senate made recommendations to review the security architecture of this country, but they weren’t implemented. It has become a vicious cycle; we make recommendations, but the problem keeps coming.”

Earlier, while presenting his motion, the lawmaker demanded an investigation by the police and other security agencies. He said: “Mr President, Distinguished colleagues, I rise to inform you that on the 20th of October, 2023, at about 4:15, Armageddon was let loose as men of the underworld invaded Otukpo, the ancestral hometown of the Idoma people, unleashing mayhem in the process.

Consequently, the Senate notes with sadness the dastardly attacks on banks and the police command in Otukpo on the 20th of October, 2023, by men suspected to be armed robbers, killing about eight people, including four security personnel.

Notes further indicate that suspected armed robbers operated for over an hour with little or no resistance, holding the entire town hostage.

Note once again that in addition to the shedding of blood, millions of Naira were carried away from the banks and arms and ammunition from the police command.”

He further explained that residents of the once-peaceful town are currently living on the edge. Senator Moro also appealed for the intervention of the National Emergency Management Agency to provide relief materials to mitigate the suffering of those injured during the incidents.