News Analysis

Implications Of Fake Security Uniforms On Crime Prevention

That Nigeria is passing through grave security challenges is a well known fact.

These challenges include armed robbery, banditry, insurgency, kidnapping, pipeline vandalism, ritual killings, cyber crimes and the most grievous of all is terrorism in the northern part of the country.

However, one disturbing issue associated with virtually all the security breaches is the increase in the number of people perpetrating criminal acts through impersonation of security personnel.

The regular and social media are daily awashed with stories and warnings on the new tactics being employed by criminals.

These tactics include ,adoring uniforms, carrying identity cards and posing as either army officer, police, civil defense ,federal road safety corps or state security men and officers to rob, dupe or even kidnap unsuspecting members of the public on the highways, at relaxation joints or while going about their daily activities.

For example, during the weekend, police in Ogun state arrested one ex-convict, Segun Ogundeji for impersonating a soldier.

According to the police spokesperson in Ogun state, Mr. Abimbola Oyeyemi, the impersonator was arrested when he went to Sango Ota divisional headquarters, fully dressed in army camouflage to solicit for the release of a suspect.

Two dismissed policemen were arrested in Lagos state while impersonating and using police uniform to harass innocent Nigerians by extorting money from motorists at various locations.

There have also been stories of people posing as security men who stopped motorists, accused them of committing one offence or the other, enter their car under the pretext of taking them to a police station only to divert them to ritualists den.

The list is endless, but the most disturbing aspect of this practice is the security threat posed by these criminals whose actions are adding to the discomfort of the already apprehensive citizens.

The question on the lips of Nigerians is why is the security so porous that some crooks could easily lay their hands on the uniforms, identity cards and other paraphernalia of office of security personnel and use same for unwholesome acts.

What are the rules for disengagement of security officers and are the rules being adhered to?

With the level of insecurity in the country, there is urgent need for actions that could reverse the ugly trend of impersonating the nation’s security personnel.

These steps are welcome to check the menace of criminals posing as security personnel.

Any retired or dismissed officer of any security agency must be compelled to submit all documents relating to his duties before payment of final entitlements.

Also, the sale of army or police wears or even the camouflage to civilians should be totally prohibited.

It behoves on Nigerian army, the police, NSCDC and other security outfits to be more productive in the management of their apparatus and tools of trade, to save the citizens from further agonies being inflicted on them daily by these undesirable elements.

Above all, federal government needs to create an authentic logo or stickers for all the security operatives for easy identification.

There should be stiffer penalty for illegal seller of security uniform as well as those that are fond of wearing it for fun to serve as deterrent to others to reduce the crime being perpetrated with the fake security uniforms.

Rasheedah Makinde

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