Editorial Team

Emmanuel Udom-Managing Editor, Stephen Dijo Philemon-Deputy Editor, Janet Udom-Senior Correspondent, Precious Udom-Senior Correspondent, Williams Ita-Bureau Chief(Akwa Ibom/Cross River), Fabian Idoko-Senior Correspondent
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    Wednesday, 2 October 2013

    CCTVs, community policing will crush Boko Haram-Dr Patrick Keku





    The northern parts of Nigeria have been literarily over-run by the activities and operations of the Boko Haram sect, where persons in their thousands had been maimed or killed and property destroyed.
    In the south, it is the vexing issue of kidnapping for ransom, where quite a number of prominent persons have been abducted and money running into millions in local and foreign currencies paid  in exchange for their freedom.
    In between, there are reported cases of communal clashes, assassinations, organized robbery and other forms of criminalities across various states in the country.
    The federal government and security agencies are insisting that they are on top of the situations, even as the Boko Haram folks are still bombing and daring.
    Thursday last week, EMMANUEL UDOM, cornered Dr Patrick Hebrew Keku, one of the foremost security consultants in Nigeria and CEO of Pahek Security Services Limited, Lagos. He spoke on the likely reasons for the bombing, the kidnapping as well as the dare consequences for the unity of our country.
    Sir, despite the Federal government committee on amnesty for the Boko Haram folks, members of the Islamic sect are still bombing and daring. What is your take on this?
    Well, on face value, the Boko Haram members are insisting on Islamizing Nigeria. They are talking about corruption, exploitation, joblessness, marginalization and lack of basic social amenities, especially in the northern parts of the country.
    Yes, they are correct. But, these are not limited to the north alone, as virtually every state, every local government area is marginalized and exploited one way or the other.
    The federal government has set up amnesty committee to look critically at the merit and demerit of granting amnesty to Boko Haram and I honestly feel that in this presently circumstance, this is the best option.
    You see, bombing, killing and maiming is certainly not the best way of drawing attention of government to any injustice, anywhere in the world. Dialogue is the only way out, as every problem created by man can be sorted out through dialogue.
    I plead with the Boko Haram folks to stop further bombing and killing and embrace dialogue through the committee.
    But, each time there is a bomb blasts, government security agencies will come out to tell the world that they are on top of the situation. What is your opinion on this?
    Everybody should be involved in the deadly, slippery and delicate business of securing lives and property. It should not be left to government security agents alone.
    The whole concept of community policing is about partnership between the police, as the most visible government security agency and the people at the community level.
     Boko Haram members, kidnappers, fraudsters, robbers, paid assassins and other criminal elements are not ghosts. They are human beings with flesh and blood and also live in our communities.
    Secondly, research shows that 90percent of criminal activities are planned at the local, community levels. Meaning that most criminals live at the ghettoes, but do to various cities and states to execute their criminal activities and then return to their base.
    Boko Haram for instance is flourishing simply because there is a break- down in trust, communication and relationship between the police and various communities in the north.
      If the people have confidence in the police, they will give out information. It is called intelligence-led policing and it is the business of the police and the host communities to form a mutually beneficial relationship.
    Thirdly, the federal government should provide more CCTVs and other security gadgets, communication gadgets, vehicles, arms and ammunition to the police to perform.
    It is pretty difficult to condemn or commend the police on the issue of Boko Haram, since security strategies should not be published on the pages of newspapers.
    Without sounding as if I am supporting the police, let me say here that based on my independent findings, the police, despite the challenges have performed creditably well. I will not say more than this.

    You spoke about CCTVs.Elaborate on this?

    Yes, the entire world is now a global family. So, CCTVs should be strategically installed, especially in crime-prone areas. There are about 300,000 serving police officers in Nigeria, assisted by some 12,000 SSS operatives, who are actually government secret police.
    The government, in addition to installing security gadgets at our various communities should also partner with credible and reputable private security practitioners and companies to tackle insecurity in Nigeria.
    The federal government should establish the national security commission, where government and private security agencies work together in the areas of information gathering, collating, and analysis and execution.
    With these in place, what happened recently in Surulere, where a DJ was allegedly killed by suspected robbers, operating on Keke Marwa will be easily captured. Remember the Boston bombing, where the CCTVs in area picked the suspect within seconds and in a matter of days, the young man was in police net.
    If the community policing dream of the government and the police is up and running and security gadgets well structured, positioned and installed all over the country, Nigeria will not need 300,000 police officers to tackle insecurity.
    I am optimistic that the Boko Haram issue, which has a political undertone, will pass away and the country will emerge stronger, wiser and more united. I stand to be corrected.

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