THE SCENARIO IN THE NORTH
The recent surge of violence by the group called ''Boko haram" in the north who i believe are a sponsored group has thrown open the inherent inadequacies that has long been existing within our intelligentsia, there is an obvious disconnect between the system and their intelligence resources, but at the same time, considerations must also be given to the largely heterogeneous and trado-religious based society in the north. Also, this has not been helped by the recently concluded elections, a prelude to which all manner of sentiments were employed in a propaganda orchestrated to prejudice the mind of the common northern man about the incumbent president. One of the many repercussions of this unholy, unpatriotic and self centered act is the outright antagonistic view and reproach the common northerner has towards the government and its agencies today.
Our collective security cannot be left to the security agencies alone, it is our collective responsibility to ensure the safety of our society by playing our parts as patriotic citizens, we must furnish the security agents with useful information that will thwart the operations of these terrorist criminals in our midst, they live and interact with us in one way or the other, after all, they do not plot their ominous acts from hell only to come and carry them out here. that is why the importance of community policing can never be over emphasized, the traditional rulers too must play their own roles as leaders within the communities right from the emirs down to the village or community heads, they must know the members of their communities and what they do for a living, they should also be able to know the strangers amongst them, after all, they are all well paid by the states and local government authorities. While we expedite action on enlightening the populace on the need for serious community policing, the government and its agencies must also live up to their constitutional responsibilities by providing the enabling environment for these factors to bear any meaningful results, of what use is an information if the agency it is intended for lacks the capacity to convert the given information into an actionable one?
Our leaders must stop playing lip service and spend their over bloated security votes usefully. We need to as a matter of urgency, begin to invest in the right ventures that will benefit us as nation greatly in the short and long term; we must begin to develop a unified data base of our citizenry no matter the cost and time implication, we must also begin to plan our towns and cities well, infrastructures must also be put in place to enable a seamless deployment of security, by now the private sector should also begin to invest in security by partnering with security agencies in the deploying technology based systems that will aid security such as CCTV cameras, emergency call centers etc in our cities, these by all standards are big deterrents of crime as seen in developed countries today.
Toll plazas should also be reintroduced with all the necessary technology driven security paraphernalia integrated at the gates, this has also been known to curb criminal movements to a certain level regardless the financial benefit it may also provide the operators. Road blocks and check points mounted by fierce looking but ill equipped and undertrained policemen cannot deter these terrorists who are not stupid if i may add from carrying out their senseless killings of innocent people, at best, it may delay their dastardly act until they detect a slip which often than not happens with the policemen on duty. We must move away from the obsolete reactionary policing that is mainly reliant on show of force and move towards a proactive and intelligence driven policing that relies mainly on technology and information to avert crime. We must move with the global trend of technology based crime fighting. The National security adviser must be commended for some radical steps he has taken towards reorganizing the security apparatus he inherited within the short time he has served given our very dynamic and sentiment driven political space, he must also be given the support and encouragement to do more towards ensuring the security of Nigerian lives and property because it remains the most important cord in the very fabric of our continuous existence as a united nation.
Written by Mohammed Danjuma.