Time for stronger community-based action on security

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THERE is no doubt that the heightened insecurity across the nation, occasioned by killing, kidnapping and destruction of property by Boko Haram insurgents, herdsmen attacks, cultists and the activities of the latest phenomenon ‘unknown gunmen’ has instilled fear and loss of confidence in government and security operatives all over the country.

  THE worst is that the security agents who should be protecting the people and working hard to flush out the hoodlums have become endangered as they have become targets of the hoodlums or bandits who are after them, including the people they are supposed to protect.

  THE situation has got so bad that security operatives are either found hiding to save their lives individually or stationed in their posts in order to secure their stations which have also become  usual targets of the so-called unknown gunmen everywhere in the country.

  THIS has resulted in security lapses , even in South East states , where there have been tight security and relative peace in recent times as criminals and cultists who have been lying low or on the run for fear of being nabbed by security agents have resurfaced.

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   DAILY news of attack on one police station  or the other, killing of security men on duty in one community or the other, kidnapping, killing or invasion of people in one community or the other or mowing down of young people by cultists in one area or the other, among others circulate in both mainstream and social media.

  ALTHOUGH state governments and regions, across  country now have or are planning to have security outfits and are opening more doors for dialogue, negotiations and partnerships to tackle the situation, National Light believes that there is no better time for stronger community security than now unless we are all waiting to be killed before we do something.

  THIS is the time for close-knit social environment which should include families, communities, towns, churches, organisations and even streets to plan to set up their own security outfits in line with acceptable rules guiding security operatives or hire private security operatives.

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  THIS is important because the criminals are from communities and their activities happen in communities. Hence there is the likelihood that most of them are known by members of the communities who may not be willing to give out information for one reason or the other.

  THIS is time for individuals, organisations, group, community leaders and other stakeholders to rally people together and make them understand that this seeming agreement of silence will not help anybody but will definitely get us all killed if we don’t act fast. Citizens and residents should be persuaded to volunteer information to relevant authorities or utilise the information to save themselves and their communities.

  WHILE we call on communities to urgently find  ways of identifying the bad eggs among them and get them removed early enough. We urge states, community leaders, monarchs, local government leaders to see organising, equipping, motivating and supporting local security operatives as a matter of utmost importance.

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  IT IS equally important that local or community guards are not only well funded but well monitored to avoid them being bought over by affluent members of the community in the guise of providing them money for fuel, arms and their personal needs since such people may even be the people sponsoring insecurity.

  IT IS our belief that if all communities take up the challenge of forming or encouraging their neighbourhood watch at this time of serious security threat, we will take back our society from the hands of bandits before it becomes too late.

  WE SHOULD all bear in mind that our freedom over crime will never be complete as long as robbers, cultists, kidnappers and other criminals from one community can find safety in another.

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