Security expert Dr. Ona Ekhomu has called on the Federal Government to strengthen the security measures provided to first class traditional rulers in order to safeguard them against repeated efforts at kidnap or assassination by terrorist-bandits.
He said that since the bandits appear intent on spilling royal blood, the government must deny them the opportunity as the consequences would be dire for the country.
Ehomu advised royal fathers to avoid late night journeys, and they should sound siren while traveling through dangerous stretches of roadway. He also advised that members of the family of first class traditional rulers should receive security awareness training in order to turn them into soft targets. Reacting to the recent ambush on the convoy of the Emir of Kaura Namoda, Alhaji Sanusi Muhammad Asha along the Zaria/Funtua highway, Ekhomu said that the attack on the Emir appeared targeted as it was quite ferocious. The attack, which resulted in the killing of three policemen and five other persons in the Emir’s convoy, appeared to be the product of a profiling of the royal father as a high value soft-target. He said that obviously, the bandits calculated that the Zamfara State Government would have paid ransom for the release of the royal father if the abduction attempt had been successful. Dr. Ekhomu, who is the President of the Association of Industrial Security Operators of Nigeria (AISSON), said that repeated and persistent attacks on royal personages needed to be defined as a specific and credible threat against royal fathers.
“Further to this threat definition, we should then put robust measures in place to protect royal convoys”. He said that the attack on the Emir of Kaura Namoda was not an isolated incident, especially with the assassination of Olufon of Ifon (Ondo State), Oba Israel Adeusi in a roadway ambush by the bandits who intended to abduct him.
He also pointed to the attack on the convoy of the Emir of Potiskum in January 2020, saying that the attacks on first class traditional rulers were too frequent raising the probability of success, adding that the attack on the convoy of the Emir of Potiskum was carried out at 11pm in Maraban Jos, in Kaduna State.
He said that highly trained, experienced protection specialists should be put in charge of the protective detail of each first class traditional ruler.
These people should coordinate the work of police and others assigned to guard the royal personages. He said that the chief detail to the monarch should conduct risk assessments before every road trip by the king. This will improve his chances of arriving alive.
He called for the training and retraining of royal drivers on offensive and defensive driving skills. He called for training in ramming techniques off road recovery, ambush detection, bootleg turn, J-turn, two-point turn and other evasive driving skills.
He said that the next line of defense should be the training of the first class monarchs on security awareness which will engender protective attitudes in the monarchs as a successful attack against any them would embarrass the government.
He said the awareness training should include risk assessments, transit security, ransom kidnap, surveillance and countersurveillance techniques, among other skills.