News Analysis

Re-orientating Nigerians to Be Security Conscious

In the words of an advertising executive in the United States of America, Allen Kay, “if you see something, say something” without any client in mind.

According to him, he wanted to create something positive in the days after the attack on the world trade center.

Across the country, in communities, Nigerians share everyday moments with neighbours, family, co-workers, and friends. 

Aside this, people go to work, school, store, or the gas station.

It is easy to overlook these routine moments, but as people are going about their daily activities, if they see something that do not seem quite right, they should say something. 

By being alert and reporting suspicious activity to law enforcement agents, they can protect their family, neighbors, and community.

However, Nigerians in large numbers could be said not to have imbibed such culture.

For example in march 2014, a kidnapper’s den was discovered in Soka area of Ibadan by a commercial motorcyclist where several  decomposed human bodies and human skulls were discovered, while many people were rescued from the kidnapper den.  

Investigations, however, revealed that the den which was situated among human habitation has been in existence for years without the knowledge of the community.

The killings in Soka could also have been averted if people  were security conscious.

Also when the 19 year old, Oyo serial killer Sunday Shodipe was rearrested after his escape from a Police station in Mokola, he narrated to the press that he scaled the fence of the Police station to escape.

The intriguing statement revealed by Sunday Shodipe was that people saw him while climbing down from the police station but decided to look away.

The consequence of this action exhibited by this Nigerians led to the murder of another woman, Mrs Oladeji Funmilayo by the serial killer.

This death should not have happened if people had been alive to their civic responsibilities.

It is instructive to note that most crime and killings in the country could have been nipped in the bud if Nigerians had paid more attention to little details in their neighbourhood.

Nigerians should therefore not see withholding of information or exhibiting nonchalant attitude as a norm as security agents cannot be everywhere.

Perhaps the reason people show apathy and nonchalant attitude to issues of security and security agents is trust and injustice.

According to social media accounts and other sources, Nigerians that have had interactions with security agents leave with one unpalatable story or the other.

Some of these cases had led to extortion, unjustified detention, injuries and even death.

Following this notion, security agencies need to as a matter of urgency redeem its image to gain the trust of the people.

It is also imperative for security agents to make prosecution of criminals transparent for people to see that justice is duly served to motivate others to come out and give useful information.

Security agents caught trying to compromise or subvert justice should be arrested and prosecuted.

As the slogan of one of the security agencies in the country goes, “Police is your friend” Nigerians should see all the security agents in the country as their friend.

To this end, when Nigerians give information to security agents, they may be doing themselves a big favour as that singular act could save a close relative or a citizen who in future could be part of their success story.

Jeffrey Ahonmisi

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