Monday, 18 January 2016

PRESIDENT BUHARI, GIVE US REAL SECURITY

President Muhammadu Buhari
One of the three cardinal objectives of the ruling All Progressives Congress’ change slogan is the provision of security; the other two being fight against corruption and employment provision to Nigerian teeming youth. While it may seem still rather early to take stock of President Buhari’s administration in these critical areas, it is crucial to draw the attention of the President and members of his cabinet to Nigeria citizens’ security needs. Without undermining the ongoing war on insurgency in the northeast, national security, Nigerians anticipate, should be truly national, protecting and working for all Nigerians.

This should begin immediately without further ado. The time is ticking fast and we can almost already decipher the APC government’s security plan. National security should extend beyond mounting heavy security guards around political office holders to taking cognisance of the personal safety and securities of millions of Nigerians who are more vulnerable to insecurities, especially armed robbery, kidnapping and other related crimes.

Without losing focus on bolstering progresses recorded in addressing the Boko Haram menace, the Federal Government needs to put due attention to the security of ordinary Nigerians across the length and breadth of the federation.

Armed robbery and crime rates in Nigeria today have assumed a worrisome dimension. In Sango Ota, Ogun State, a number of cars have been snatched at gunpoint. While this has not abated, many of these cars are still missing without any traces. This is pretty much the case in many states of the federation from north to south with the situation in Delta State recently gaining news headline. The sad part of these cases is that armed robberies are repeatedly conducted by the same gangs at the same location without any check from the Nigerian security operatives. A reported armed robbery incident in Badagry, Lagos State late last year went viral after the armed robbers had robbed and raped innocent Nigerians of their valuables and returned a second time to the same robbery scene to rob the second time at about the same time of the night torturing the hell out of their victims for daring to give these robbers wrong pin numbers to their automated teller machine cards carted away during the robbers’ initial raid.

The situation in Ile-Ife at the moment is near similar. From the Mayfair area to Ede and Ibadan express roads, armed robbers have been visiting students’ hostels and houses of peace loving residents on a daily basis. Since September, 2015, people in these areas of Ile-Ife have lived in fear from the men of the underworld. Attempts by the hapless citizens to seek refuge in the hands of the police have been met with disappointments as the police seem helpless in curbing these ugly, disturbing and increasing crime rates. Basic gadgets for communications are unavailable to the police, while their vehicles are either faulty or short on petrol! These without doubt increase police immobility and reduce efforts of committed officers in countering these crimes.

Mr. President, may we bring to your notice that many Nigerians are constantly terrorised by these men of the underworld, who come to steal, rape, kidnap and brutalise with impunity. Nigerians under your watch constantly live in fear with their hearts in their mouths due to these incessant attacks. Free movements are denied many for fear of being kidnapped while a well-deserved rest after a hard day’s job is deprived many due to sounds of gunshots that intersperse the night, often between 12 midnight and 3 am. Mr. President, it is against this backdrop that a passionate call for the overall review of the nation’s security is made. Nigerians wish that you take this seriously and in good time. It is high time efforts are stepped-up and intensified in providing security to Nigerians.

News reports that the Inspector General of Police’s Special Intelligence Response Team, SIRT, has apprehended some of these hoodlums in Delta and Ondo states are heart-warming. However, more need to be done to curb this rising menace in Nigeria. It is not a mundane suggestion that the police force and other allied security agencies require urgent adequate training and provision with more sophisticated equipment. Furthermore, more security personnel, in and out of uniforms, are needed to adequately man Nigerian streets both during the day and at nights to forestall the rising crime rates.

These operatives need to have a large pool of defence team to draw on for reinforcement and back up should attacks result in a gun duel between armed bandits and the security operatives. If only half of the number of troops deployed to monitor elections with proportionate equipment is scheduled to watch over Nigerians on a daily basis then Nigerians would have less to worry about, sleeping with their both eyes closed. This is not a mission impossible. With political will power, seriousness and genuine commitment on the part of your government to the security needs of Nigerian citizens, this can be attained for the overall security of all. (Source: Guardian)