• Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

NIGERIA’S NEW SECURITY PARADIGM: The Impact And Prospects Of The Special Intervention Squad (SIS)

The nexus between a nation’s development and its security architecture cannot be overstated. Recognizing this interconnection, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Olukayode Adeolu Egbetokun, Ph.D, NPM, introduced the Special Intervention Squad (SIS) to address the rising challenges of crime and criminality, particularly in areas like kidnapping and banditry across Nigeria.

In the context of the evolving global security landscape, where security encompasses human, environmental, economic, and political dimensions, Nigeria has taken a proactive step to align with the new security agenda. The country’s vast geographical, demographic, and resource-based strength positions it as a key player in the global security discourse.

Security, as emphasized by McNamara (1968), is not merely military hardware or force; it is development. The IGP’s vision recognizes the pivotal role of a professionally competent, service-driven, rule-of-law-compliant, and people-friendly police force in achieving economic recovery, social integration, and overall national development.

The birth of the SIS came as a response to the escalating security challenges faced by Nigeria. Launched in Jos, Plateau State, on December 29, 2023, the SIS made its mark by swiftly addressing the aftermath of armed bandit attacks in Mangu, Bokkus, and Bakinladi Local Government areas on Christmas Eve, where over 200 lives were lost and properties destroyed. The squad, under the supervision of AIG ZONE 4, successfully arrested suspects connected to the attacks, revealing their involvement in the heinous crime.

Expanding its reach, the SIS was launched in the FCT on January 17, 2024, targeting armed criminals and hoodlums infiltrating the capital. Operations were strategically extended to border communities connecting neighboring states, including Niger, Kaduna, Nassarawa, Benue, and Kogi, to counter criminal activities leveraging multiple boundaries.

The squad, commanded by CP Benneth Igweh, embarked on operations in areas notorious for terrorist and bandit activities such as Kawu, Kuchikau, Bwari, Nigerian Law School, Veritas University, Claritian Missionary Seminary, Zuma I, Zuma II, and Iguh. Additionally, operations extended to Tafa, Gauraka, and Garam areas of Niger state, disrupting criminal operations.

The operational efficiency of the SIS was highlighted in a covert operation on January 18, 2024, leading to the interception of kidnappers in a Grey Toyota Hilux Van. The rescue of Segun Akinyemi, who was being taken to Kano, showcased the squad’s superior firepower, resulting in the arrest of one suspect, Chinaza Philip, and the recovery of weapons and ammunition.

Collaborating with various police units, including the Department of Force Intelligence – Intelligence Response Team (FID-IRT) and neighboring State Commands, the SIS successfully rescued victims abducted in Zuma 1, Bwari Area Council, and victims from different locations within the FCT. The coordination and efficiency of the recently launched squad were evident in these rescue operations.

The SIS further extended its impact to Plateau State, addressing the aftermath of an attack in Mangu, arresting nine suspects, and recovering dangerous weapons. The squad’s response in thwarting further attacks and ensuring the restoration of normalcy demonstrated its commitment to maintaining law and order.

In Kaduna State, the SIS, alongside local police, intercepted a suspected kidnapper, Bello Mohammed, with a substantial amount of money. His arrest and confession marked another success in the fight against kidnapping.

The squad’s operations in Nasarawa, Ukya Village, and other areas resulted in the rescue of hostages and the arrest of criminals involved in kidnapping. Similarly, in Mangu, the SIS deployed to prevent further attacks, arresting nine suspects and recovering weapons used in the recent attack.

In just two weeks, the SIS, in collaboration with other tactical squads, arrested 26 suspects for offenses ranging from kidnapping to cultism and gun running. The recovery of various weapons and ammunition underscores the squad’s commitment to clamping down on criminal elements in the FCT and its environs.

As Nigeria navigates complex security challenges, the SIS embodies a paradigm shift towards adaptability, collaboration, and foresight. The relentless efforts of the squad, coupled with its proactive approach, position it as a critical player in the country’s fight against insecurity. The impact of the SIS in a short span is evident, and its prospects hold promise for a safer and more prosperous Nigeria.

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor is a seasoned journalist and the CEO/Founder Belch Digital Communications, publishers of Hybrid News Nigeria.

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