Operation Baruten: All hail ‘General’ AbdulRazaq


By AbdulWahab Tajudeen

“The first and most important duty of a government is the security of lives and property. Every other thing comes after security.” – Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.

When the state government over the week said there was no foothold for criminal gangs in Kwara, there have been questions bordering on how the Abdulrahman-led administration has been managing the state of the security of Kwarans since its inception.

Since his emergence as governor, the security of the lives and property of Kwarans, the peaceful co-existence of residents and visitors, and other security-related issues are always on the lip of the government. There is no gainsaying that the government came prepared to tackle the security issues ravaging the country over the years and now extending to states, especially in North Central Nigeria.

One of the earliest official duties of Governor AbdulRazaq was a security council meeting where issues bordering on the state of the security of Kwara were discussed lend credence to his resolve to tackle any offshoot issues head-on – showing the right attitude.

I remember back in time; there was Kwara where hooliganism and thuggery are celebrated with available resources of the state. There were thugs in numbers having godfather(s) in the government, financing their activities, and sending them on errands.

Kwarans have once lived in fear of attacks from within, a lethal force that supposedly also touched the economy of the state for years, making the job harder. There were stories that thugs shared in the state cake and even reports that most were on payroll rendering no services to the state were pronounced. We’ve had it that bad before only because some persons couldn’t provide the needed leadership.

It is such an eluding mojo the state is having with AbdulRahman taking the mantle of leadership over a year ago.

If you remember the swiftness with which three foreigners kidnapped earlier this year were rescued by the combined efforts of the security agencies given enough support and motivation by the government, one would get the message of change.

To show its seriousness, a One-Day Security Dialogue tagged “Towards Strengthening the Security Architecture in Kwara State: Exploring Community Initiatives,” was hosted where AbdulRahman made it known that lives and property of Kwarans are the primary responsibility of his government and every other thing is secondary. He was never wrong; it is a widely accepted belief that we cannot have a better living with every resource available in an unstable environment.

Even when Kwara will be described as a relatively peaceful state in the northern part of the country, Governor AbdulRahman is not ready to give a chance to crimes to manifest in the state. The provision of Toyota Hilux Vans to security agencies in the state, one of those things that used to thwart their operations is a noteworthy indication. The image of security agents – with their rickety vans– labouring to tackle crime as and when due comes to mind.

The Baruten incident over the weekend and the swift actions of the security agencies in dislodging the criminal gangs in the place is one of the gains of the administration’s investment in security. It has further testified to how high the safety of Kwarans is held in the mind of the governor. As the affected area has been secured, no better message could have been sent by the governor to men of the underworld: ‘no place for you here!’

All hail General AbdulRazaq as he continues to fight back insecurity from getting a foothold in the state.


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