By Maduabuchi Nmeribeh/Kano
It was joyous moment in Kano, on Wednesday, when Kano state Governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf, promised to rehabilitate and empower 100 repentant criminals presented to him by the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mohammed Usaini Gumel.
Mr. Gumel presented the 100 repentant criminals to Governor Yusuf at Sani Abacha Stadium, during the closing ceremony of the maiden Community Policing Friendly Football Games, organized by the Kano state Police Command, in conjunction with the Youth Society for the Prevention of Infectious Diseases and Social Vices (YOSPIS).
Governor Yusuf who was represented by the Director-General, Special Services, Government House, AVM Ibrahim Umar (rtd), commended CP Gumel for initiating such innovation of crime-fighting.
According to him: “On the 100 repentant thugs presented to me by the State Commissioner of Police, they have all been accepted by the State Government and are going to be profiled and got them gainfully engaged with a full package of life-changing Programmes to be sponsored by the State Government.”
Governor Yusuf further stated that: “My very good people of Kano State, it gives me great pleasure today as we gather here to witness the Closing Ceremony of the Maiden Kano State Community Policing Friendly Football Games organized by the Kano State Police Command in conjunction with Youth Society for the Prevention of Infectious Diseases and Social Vices (YOSPIS) at the same venue of my inauguration exactly 93 days after my assumption of office.
“This sport event indeed came at a better time as it exemplified the spirit of unity, harmony and collaboration that our Government is striving to achieve for the stability of our beloved Kano State. It is also in line with our vision of engaging and bringing the youths together for development and the progress of the State.
“Recall that when I assumed office on 29th of May 2023, there were security challenges, and in my inaugural speech, I pledged to work with security agencies to quickly surmount all emerging ugly heads of insecurities in the State. I also promised to ensure that our street lights that have not been in use for about eight years which culminated into the increase in crimes especially mobile phone armed robbery during night hours especially at junctions and round abouts within Kano metropolis are restored.
“Today, whoever is in the State is witnessing a new dawn with a new face of Kano State as there is holistic reduction of street crimes. This is as a result of the restoration of these street lights that the State Government adequately put in place across the length and breadth of the metropolis.
“I must also appreciate the commitment of the Police and other security personnel for taking the bull by the horn in ensuring that people sleep with their eyes closed. We will continue to remain committed to ensuring that the good people of the State operate their businesses and go about their daily activities without fear of being attacked by criminals.
“In one-week time, I will be clocking 100 days in office as the Executive Governor of Kano State. We have all reasons to thank Almighty Allah (SWT) for the remarkable achievements recorded so far in restoring the State to its lost glory and making the journey a successful one. God willing, we will continue to fulfill our promises of ensuring safer and more secured business environment.
“At this point, I want to reiterate that this Government is committed to the welfare of the youths and the implementation of palliative measures that will ease the economic hardship created by the fuel subsidy removal. Already, the Kano State Government has reduced the registration fees of tertiary institutions of the State by 50 percent to indigenes.
“Furthermore, I commend the efforts of all the security agencies in the State particularly the Police for their untiring commitment to safeguarding the inhabitants of the State. As the Chief Security Officer of the State we will continue to give all necessary support to the security agencies and continue to accompany the Nigeria Police Force to implement the working community policing template being in use by the State Police Command.
“Finally, I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to all the participating teams at the Novelty Football Match which include the Repentant Thugs, Tiktok, Kannywood, NUJ, YOSPIS and CP Boys Team. Above all, each one of you has played a significant role in show-casing the power of sports in bringing people together with a common goal of fostering peace and unity.”
In his address, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Gumel, said the event was for the overall aim of fostering peace and unity in the state.
He recalled that when he assumed duty, there were rampant cases of armed robbery, phone snatching and other violent crimes in the state.
According to him, creating synergy among stakeholders such as the judiciary, the media, traditional rulers, NGOs, religious leaders, Kannywood, sister-security agencies, among others, helped the police to curb criminal activities in the state.
CP Gumel who presented 100 repentant criminals to Governor Yusuf for rehabilitation and empowerment, urged the society not to stigmatize the repentant criminals as they have promised never to go back to crime again.
He recalled that the state police Command had launched man-bunt for three notorious criminals, out of which one has surrendered himself.
CP Gumel, however, placed a bounty of N500, 000 on the two notorious criminals still at large, vowing that the police will do everything possible to bring them to justice.
He commended all the teams that participated in the football games and assured that the Police Command is ever ready to organize more football tournaments and other games aimed at fostering peace and unity in the state.
CP Gumel also used the occasion to present Peace Award to Kano state Governor, Engr. Abba Kabir Yusuf, and other dignitaries who have been supporting Community Policing in the state, including the Kano Council Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Abbas Ibrahim.
Among dignitaries who attended the event include Speaker, Kano state House of Assembly, Honourable Jubrin Falgore; Director-General, Hisbah Board, Sheikh Aminu Ibrahim Daurawa; Executive Secretary, Kano state Censorship Board, Abba El-Mustapha;
Others are chairman, AMG Foundation, Dr. Aminu Garba Magashi; Executive Director, YOSPIS, Zainab Nasir Ahmed; chairman, PCRC, Kano, Comrade Ali Hassan Tudun Bayero; Madakin Kano, Alhaji Yusuf Ibrahim Chigari, represented by Faruk Abdullahi Yola (District Head of Kano Municipal); Chairman, Eminent Persons’ Forum, Ambassador Mukhtar Gashash; Managing Director, Pop-Cola; Managing Director, ASPIRA Nigeria Ltd, among others.
Highlights of the event include presentation of awards to best players during the games.
However, the Police fc, known as the CP Boys defeated the YOSPIS fc in the final games which ended 2—0.