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STRATEGIES FOR CURBING VIOLENT CRIME (1)

By NBF NEWS
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An increase in violent crime across the country has resulted in the death of many Nigerians. The situation, no doubt, has reached a point where it should be treated as an urgent and important national issue that must be addressed in order to save precious Nigerian lives.

Fatal robbery attack on Alhaji Abubakar Rimi
This week is, indeed, a sad one for Nigerians. A political icon and champion of the cause of the common people, Alhaji Abubakar Rimi died after an encounter with armed robbers. The amiable former governor of Kano State was on his way back to Kano City from Bauchi State when he was ambushed by Kwanta Kwanta robbery gang. The bandits had attacked his brother with cutlasses, swords and clubs. They had inflicted severe injuries on him for daring to resist them.

Rimi was said to have been unharmed by the criminals. But he had been severely traumatized by the incident. Upon departing the scene of the robbery, he had started gasping for breath and sweating profusely. He was rushed to the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, but there was no gurnee to convey him into the emergency room. He was subsequently lifted by hand into the emergency room after wasting 15 precious minutes. He died three minutes later.

An analysis of the attack
Night travel
Alhaji Rimi was ambushed while undertaking a night journey. He had been advised against traveling by night, but he insisted on meeting other commitments in Kano. The lesson here is that nocturnal travel is highly dangerous and should be avoided when possible.

Robbery gang
Anti-Social deviance groups exist and operate freely throughout Nigeria. The kwanta kwanta group is apparently so brazen in its robbery exploits that it has a nickname. These gangs derive confidence from their ability to ambush and rob innocent citizens without being challenged. The security agencies must hunt and destroy these vicious robbery gangs wherever they are.

First aid skills
In our defense driving training programme, we emphasize that the executive driver must receive training in first aid. In the Rimi attack, first aid and CPR skills would have been useful when the governor developed a cardiac episode. The driver is the closest person to the executive and sometimes he is the only person available to help. Since the bodyguard was also in the vehicle, some first aid, in addition to the knowledge of the medical history of the executive, would have made the 15 minutes spent at the hospital enough time to revive the former governor whose breath was dwindling.

Triage
We have always known that commitment to duty and saving of lives by our health professionals and facilities are very suspect. Rimi's death is another reminder that our health infrastructure is unable to deal with trauma and emergency victims. The care dedication and professionalism required of a medial facility was apparently missing when he was brought in. Then the great man died. What a shock.

Upsurge in incidence of violent crime
Assassination
Two actors where brutally assassinated by gunmen in Benin City. Also Chief Friday Osazuwa was assassinated by unknown gunmen last week.

Kidnapping
The wife of the former Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries, Mrs. Festus Odimegwu was abducted from a Church in one of the eastern states. This week, the Chief Medical Director of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital was kidnapped. In another incident that is making Edo State a haven of kidnappers, a female lecturer of the University of Benin was kidnapped on her way to work. She was later released unharmed.

Armed robbery
In Port Harcourt, a female executive of a major consultancy company narrowly escaped death when armed robbers ambushed her and summarily executed her armed Mobile police guard before proceeding to carry the cash in the trunk of her car.

How to survive violent crime
Self-help
For the umpteenth time, I must say that you are responsible for your own security. If you wait on the authorities to save you from violent crime, then you may end up a victim of crime.

Security consciousness
You must sharpen your security consciousness. You must get security information about where you live and about a city that you are about to visit. Read Red Alert every weekend in SATURDAY PUNCH in order to stay alive.

Counter-survelliance
A Special Assistant to Edo State governor narrowly escaped assassination or abduction as he was able to detect a trailing car and then ran to a nearby police station (safe haven).

Defensive driving
A business executive who was recently attacked somewhere in Eastern Nigeria used his SUV as a weapon against the evil-doer that gave him a rolling box ambush. He stopped, pretended to obey, and then put his car in gear one and rammed the robbers' vehicle. He injured one of the guys and drove away, drawing a hail of gunfire in the process. He had attended security driving course.

Get a bodyguard
When Senator Lekan Balogun was attacked recently in Ibadan by hired killers, his bodyguard made a tactical difference and saved his life. The gallant policeman repelled the assassins with sustained gunfire. If you feel threatened enough to hire a bodyguard, then make sure he is the type that can make a difference in the event of a threat against the executive's life.

To be continued.