HABA SENATOR

Haba Senator

It is rather unfortunate that a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria can descend so low as to fake gunshot to waste national resources and blackmail the police. Hear him, “The truth is that. I was not shot. I only inhaled excess of the tear gas and the doctor requested l should be flown abroad. So l didn’t orchestrate the so called drama. I was simply obeying the doctor’s instruction. Nigerians should direct the blame to the doctor, because I was embarrassed too by the doctors in London when they queried the doctor’s report I came with”.

 Must it take Abe all this while to say the truth? That this is coming after the National Assembly, the Inspector General of Police, the Federal Government and various NGOs have constituted panels upon Panels of Inquiry to investigate the shooting of Senator Magnus Abe, is a serious disappointment. Why should he suddenly turn around to say, “I was not shot”? What a shame. Ogonis are known not to tell lies or deceive people. They are not known to raise false alarm for gains. The live of Ken Saro-Wiwa testifies to this. What did Abe want to achieve with faking gunshot and now asking Nigerians to direct their blames to “the doctor”. Was “the doctor” with him when the incident took place? Is he not the actor in the orchestrated shooting drama who merely invited the doctor to join him in the act? If the following emerging facts concerning Senator Magnus Abe’s orchestrated shooting incident are anything to go by, then, Nigeria is in trouble. Is it true that:

  1. Senator Abe was alleged to be hit by a fake bullet?
  2. Rivers State Government claimed that Senator Abe was bleeding badly?
  3. Port Harcourt doctors were intimidated to issue fake health certificate/referral note?
  4. Rivers State Government claimed that Senator Abe was flown to UK with air ambulance?
  5. Air France confirms that Senator Abe was a passenger on seat number 01, on their 20.10pm flight – PHC-LOS-LON?
  6. Senator Abe was checked into London Bridge Hospital, Emblem House, Tooley Street, SE1 2RP with fake name?
  7. London Hospital informed Senator Abe that he has no need for medical attention, but free to stay as long as he wishes?
  8. Senator Abe was admitted in Ward that deals with shock victims, instead of Emergency Unit for gunshot wounds? And
  9. Is it true that APC leadership planned to move Senator Abe out this weekend?

Who is fooling who here? Why should Abe choose to mislead Nigerians? Why did he choose to be economical with the truth? Abe owe Nigerians an apology. Abe owe the police an apology. Abe owe Rivers people an apology. Abe owe Ogonis an apology. Abe owe Eleme people an apology. As a deterrent to others, Abe should be made to bear the cost of the various panels instituted to investigate the false shooting including the cost of disruption of traffics and economic activities on east/west road in Eleme arising from the protest/blockage by youths because of the shooting which turns out to be sham. Haba Senator!

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Cultism in Eleme: The Way Forward

ImageCULTISM IN ELEME: THE WAY FORWARD

  

INTRODUCTION

Cultists are group of persons or illegal gang that operates underworld and without public recognition that may be violent in nature against nonmembers especially when a member or group inordinate needs and demands are not met. Cultism is a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabric of the Nigerian society and has shattered the once serene Ebubu clan.  In recent times we have recorded over thirty painful cult related deaths. While some were shot dead; others were strangled to death, yet others died in cult associated fatal road mishap during the burial of a victim of cultists’ outburst.

 

Apart from the display of shame, the Ebubu Cult Crisis from August 8 to September 29, 2013 resulted in the dead of over 30 people; a hundred families and two hundred and twenty individuals were displaced; about 10 others were injured; properties worth over 1billion Naira were damaged and the socio-economic life of Ebubu completely paralyzed.

 

Of the five categories of cults in Nigeria namely: classical confraternities, mafia cults, female cults, godfathers’ cults and terrorists’ cults, two are present and operational in Ebubu. These are godfather’s cults and terrorist’s cults. Godfatherism is fast growing secret cult in Eleme, especially with the approach of elections. The godfathers lure these innocent youths with drugs and monetary inducement and further promises to shield them, give them political appointments and huge monetary rewards which usually turn out to be ruse.

 

The cultists in Ebubu concern themselves with perpetuating crimes and fear of crimes by constantly terrorizing law abiding citizens, disposing them of their properties, rapping and killing. The ancient city became deserted when the cultists introduced robbing and rapping into their operating formula.    

 

The chiefs and elders’ attempt to use “Ogbe” to control arms bearing and other violent crimes failed due to high level of insincerity displaced by the traditional rulers, Chiefs and Elders. The fear by some of these chiefs that their family may be victimized due to their complexity in the cult crisis necessitated the quick removal of the “Ogbe”. And the secret revocation of the “Ogbe”, brought about the collapsed of traditional authority as things felled apart. However, efforts were marshaled by few traditional rulers who were at home with the assistant of the Executive Chairman of Eleme Local Government Council, Hon. Oji N. Ngofa to use intelligence and law enforcement resources to control these youths, which yielded positive results and provided the platform for the majority of the Traditional Rulers, Chiefs and Elders on self-exile to return home.

 

It is clear that the Ebubu Youth Council Caretaker Committee have failed to address the Ebubu Cult crisis, the major problem it was created to solve. This failure is a clear manifestation of the rot in our system and the danger in politicizing youth leadership.

 

As peace is gradually returning, it will be disservice to the Eleme nation, if we wait until these young boys and girls get further loose, relocate to “Ɔpε” or into the creeks and consolidate to unleash greater havoc on the masses before we act.  The invocation of “Ete Ɔpᴐᴐ” (Traditional Mace) and “Nkpᴐrᴐ” (Traditional Staff) are but temporary measures likely to fail as did “Ogbe”.  

 

CAUSES OF CULTISM IN EBUBU

The problems of rising cases of cultism and insecurity in Ebubu in particular and Eleme in general can be traced to so many factors. Some of these factors are:

 

1.      Intermittent Communal Crises between Eleme and Okrika

These crises encouraged the procurement of gun and knife proof charms for majority of the youths to protect them during these wars. The cessation of hostilities did not terminate the potency or otherwise of the charms. Majority of these youths still believe that they are invisible, that they are guns and matches resistant. The crises also exposed the youths to places where they can procure these charms.

 

2.      Chieftaincy Tussle and Acrimony among the Chiefs

Chieftaincy tussle and acrimony among the chiefs of Ebubu have assumed an alarming state. It is a cold war that many do not know it exist yet its impact is being fetched in the activities of these young boys and girls who are being misled for their sponsors’ selfish goal. Government must address the emerging time bomb in Ebubu and in other clans and communities of Eleme before it explodes and consume us all.

 

Government must step in to solve the problems of acrimony among the chiefs in Ebubu to avoid total breakdown of law and order. The rising fire can be felt by careful observers, especially security experts who cannot claim ignorance of the danger posed by increasing chieftaincy tussle and acrimony in Ebubu.

 

3.      Rivalry among Youths’ Body

The way and manner most of the youth’s bodies in Ebubu were elected and inaugurated left much to be desired. In most communities that constitute Ebubu due processes were not followed. Besides, political considerations and personal interests took prominence over transparency, common sense, and community interests. The results are rising cult related killings, crimes and general fear of crimes. The government owes it a duty to check undue rivalry among the youths by ensuring that where due processes were not followed to elect and constitute a youth body, something is done to address the shortcomings so as to carry everybody along and promote the spirit of comradeship and brotherhood among the youths.    

                                                

 

 

4.       Social Decay

The general collapse of the value system, disregard for human life, lack of respect for elders and constituted authorities, absence of the once cherished spirit of communal love and peaceful coexistence, and total alienation of the youth from customs and tradition of the people of Eleme due to rapid industrialization and shameless display of ill-gotten wealth are major contributory factors to the uncontrollable incidents of cult induced killings and wide spread terrorism in Ebubu that needed urgent remedy through reorientation and reawakening.

 

5.      Unemployment

An idle mind is the devil’s workshop says a popular adage. The rate of unemployment in Ebubu is alarming. You need to take a walk around the community any afternoon and see for yourself the number of youths idling away doing nothing. Something need to be done and quickly too to address the problem of unemployment in Ebubu.

 

6.      Illiteracy

The level of illiteracy in Ebubu is very high compare to other clans of Eleme. This may sound embarrassing and unacceptable to some of us, but, we must tell ourselves the truth for once. There is urgent need for the government to device ways of getting our youths back to school. An educated mind cannot be easily convinced into carrying weapons to terminate the life of a fellow human being or destroy properties maliciously. Government should look in this direction as part of long term solutions to insecurity in Ebubu and Eleme generally.

 

7.      Desperate Politicians

It may seem myopic or even unspeakable, but the fact is that some desperate politicians are behind the cult crises in Ebubu either in preparation for the launch of their political ambition or to propagate their popularity. Either way, ignorantly, though, they should be told in clear terms that what they are doing tantamount to building terrorists cell and is against the law of this country especially the provisions of the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011. 

 

8.      Laxity on the Parts of Law Enforcement

The laxity on the part of law enforcement arises from the failure of intelligence security and the gap existing between the Police, Neighborhood Guards and the citizens.  The State Security Service (SSS) as plain clothes force should as a matter of priority sit up to its responsibility by gathering real time intelligence that will help check these cultists and criminals. They can create a local ruse force to conduct pseudo operations among these youths. There is urgent need for greater presence and interactions in the communities, use of non-law enforcement resources that breaks cultural, language and information barriers and promotes trust and common goal.

 

Besides, the animosity and struggle for supremacy between the SSS and the Police in Eleme which is visible and which has robbed them the sharing of intelligence and other information over the years, must be resolved now if the security agencies must deliver on their mandates.

 

9.      Drug Abuse and Addiction

A walk along any street in Ebubu in particalr and Eleme in general will reveal immediately the harm hard drugs has done to our young boys and girls. There is virtually no street in Ebubu without at least three to five drinking joints and a hard drugs dispensing closet. Most cult related violence is traceable to effects of hard drugs. Security agencies must brace up to the fight against drug abuse in the area. Identification and rehabilitation of addicts is not out of place as part of immediate solution.

 

10.       Arms Proliferations

The proliferation of small arms in Eleme is of great concern to security practitioners. While many of these arms can be traced to the Eleme and Okrika communal conflicts as pointed out earlier, others are linked to the recent Niger Delta “militants for negotiation for development” operations. Still others were purchased by the criminally minded to terrorized innocent citizens and residents and dispose them of their belongings. There is therefore urgent need for the government to put all necessary machinery into motion to mop-up these arms. Arm for money strategy is recommended here propelled by the spirit of conditional amnesty.

 

 

11. Influx of Displaced Waterfronts’ Residents

The demolition of waterfronts in Port Harcourt and its environs and the sacking of the residents created hundreds of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Rivers State. This development resulted in mass movement of different types of people into Ebubu and contributed immensely to rising cases crimes in the area. The social decays which prompted the sacking of these waterfronts are known to all of us. These evils find their way into Ebubu and the result is increasing cult cases, armed robbery, rapping and other crimes.

 

The inability of the Rivers State Government to provide alternative settlements for these internally displaced persons coupled with the lack of adequate arrangement to mitigate the diverse negative impacts of unplanned mass movement of people into Ebubu is worrisome, and therefore calls for immediate attention to addressing the increasing security challenges arising therefrom.  

 

It is therefore not out of place to call on the authorities of Eleme Local Government to do something about “Trailer Park” in Ejamah Ebubu which has become the den of criminals in the area. Attention should also be focused on the security red spots in Alesa, Agbonchia, Akpajo, and Onne that are fast emerging as criminals breeding centers in Eleme.

 

Conclusion

Cultism is a thorn in the flesh of the people and a clog in the wheel of progress of Ebubu Clan.  To eradicate this monster, the family, school and church must accept their responsibilities of providing good basic home training, moral and spiritual orientation to the children. The government must eradicate those issues that give rise to crimes and social decay, while law enforcement should ensure that any person who falls short of the law faces the rod of the law. This will create and sustain sanity in our society.

 

It is now the duty of the various stakeholders in Ebubu Clan to avoid a repetition of the ugly experience of the past which led to breakdown of law and order, and work towards ensuring lasting peace in the area. This, they could do by constantly and continuously monitoring the youth bodies in the area and calling them to order whenever they are derailing. The chiefs on their part are also advised to institute an effective and efficient peer review mechanism to prevent what might be detrimental to the fragile peace in the area.

 

The Rivers State Government should also consider the request of the traditional rulers, chiefs, elders and opinion leaders of Ebubu Clan concerning establishing a Police Post in the area. Considering the rapid industrialization that is taking place in the area and uncontrollable influx of people from various parts of the world and the country into Ebubu the request for a police station in the area is not out of place but a priority. Police presence is a good deterrent. 

 

Let it be pointed out here that a place have been donated by the people, it has been inspected and confirmed suitable by the police authority in Eleme. What is delaying the approval and take off of the Police Post in Ebubu?   

 

While appreciating the efforts of the Council Chairman and Chiefs and Elders of Ebubu to checkmate the menace of cultism, it is pertinent to call on all concerned stakeholders to ensure that the passion and zeal demonstrated in the course of searching for workable solutions to the problems of cultism is not abandoned midway as that will be more disastrous.

 

It is also important to call on the Federal Government to consider addressing those long term factors that gave rise to cultism in the areas such as illiteracy, unemployment, and frustration in addition to the short term solutions being implemented.

Director General Advocates for the Establishment of Council for the Registration of Private Security of Nigeria (CORPSON)

Director General Advocates the Establishment of Council for the Registration of Private Security of Nigeria

The Director General of the Nigerian Institute of Security (NIS), Chief Osaro Ollorwi, has called for the establishment of the Council for the Registration of Private Security of Nigeria (CORPSON). According to the Director General, the body would be charged with the responsibility to set standards, establish and maintain the register of private security practitioners in the country. He stressed that CORPSON would be very useful in sensitizing the private security industry, eliminate quacks and charlatans that have infiltrated the industry as well as compel operators of private security outfits to become members of recognized professional security associations like NIS.

The security guru stated that absent of standards and control measures have exposed the security profession to public scorn and ridicule, adding that private security has become haven for dropouts and other questionable characters. He observed that the recent study carried out by the Nigerian Institute of Security revealed that over two million Nigerians are engaged in private security practices. According to him, 90 percent of these are poorly trained, ill-equipped, and poorly remunerated.

In an exclusive interview with the Editor of Safety Record Magazine, Nkereuwem Akpan, the Director General stated in his office in Port Harcourt that NIS was establish in 1996 to promote and campaign for improved status, wellbeing, and professionalism of persons engaged in or likely to be engaged in the theory and practice of industrial security and loss prevention.

Dr. Ollorwi decried rot in the educational sector, corruption in high places and poor funding of government security agencies that have become threats to our national security. The details of this interview are presented below. Happy reading….   

 Can you give us a brief history of your organization?

The Nigerian Institute of Security (NIS) was established in 1996 as a professional association committed exclusively to the advancement of the innovation, development, training and dissemination of best practices in security and loss prevention activities in Nigeria, with headquarters in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

 

Basically, what are the objectives of your organization?

The Nigerian Institute of Security recognizes that security is critical to achievement of uninterrupted and sustainable growth and development. It is our goal therefore to promote the application of integrated and participatory approaches to security management, practiced to the highest professional standards. Develop and promote approaches and good practices for comprehensive and integrated security management in Nigeria. Improve professional capacity in security management and public understanding of the field. Provide professional quality assurance by peer reviews and professional dialogue. Share information through professional networks, timely publications and professional trainings and meetings. The Institute also aim to contribute to policy formulation by providing useful insight and advisory services to government agencies and NGOs in all aspects of security and loss prevention.e and integrated security management in Nigeria.

Improve professional capacity in security management and public understanding of the field.

Provide professional quality assurance by peer reviews and professional dialogue.

Share information through professional networks, timely publications and professional trainings and meetings.

Contribute to policy formulation by providing useful insight and advisory services to government, development agencies and NGOs in all aspects of security and loss prevention.

 

That is, the Nigerian Institute of Security was established to promote and campaign for improved quality of life, wellbeing, and professionalism of persons engaged in or likely to be engaged in the practice of security and loss prevention. We attach much importance to the training of our members and conduct continual professional development and examinations with the aim of raising the status of our members. The institute also set entry criteria, establish standards, provide for the delivery and holding of lectures, exhibitions, public meetings, conferences, and examinations, and awards certificates, diplomas, prizes, scholarships either alone or jointly with other educational and professional bodies. NIS represents the professional interest of security and loss prevention practitioners, consultants, technologists and students as well as users of their products and services in both the public and private sectors.

 

How widespread is NIS in Nigeria?

Presently, there are viable branches of the NIS in Lagos, Kaduna, Bayelsa, Rivers, Oyo and Delta states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Arrangement is ongoing to officially inaugurate the Akwa Ibom State branch any time from now. The National Executive Council of the NIS have approved the establishment of branches in all states and major cities in Nigeria as a way of mobilizing the Nigerian populace to participate actively in security matters, boost the practice of security and loss prevention for the overall betterment of society.What is actually responsible for the growing importance of private security in Nigeria?

Many organizations in Nigeria are increasingly engaging the services of private security personnel because of their expanding activities and the need to protect their personnel, equipment, vital information, reputation and other assets that by their calculation are subject to considerable threats and risk and even loss through accident, negligence, or willful intent. Importantly, as businesses grow, they tended to employ modern methods of production that resulted in higher quality goods and services to the extent where competition among organizations in the same or similar line of business become imminent. This is because there is always the tendency for companies in the same line of business to attempt to learn of the rival processes affecting their own performance. With this, the competing organizations begin to explore ways to penetrate into the rival companies using various espionage techniques in an effort to see not only the design and production methods but also sales and customers lists, and biding information.

 

Again, in an attempt to meet the demand for increased production, the labour force must grow over time, perhaps from few members to hundreds or even thousands. With this, dishonest employees begin to surface, occasionally engaging in various activities such as pilfering and stealing company property such as stock, tools, spare parts, even finished goods and cash. Also there might be disguised employees who are agents for a competitor’s intelligence gathering agency or one who creates internal friction among workers with the aim of lowering their morale and cause disruption of production. This invariably calls for the growing importance of private security to check, control, mitigate and manage these unwarranted behaviours and activities in organizations. Private security also ensures that losses are prevented thereby enhancing business profitability. A good private security system, whether contractual or proprietary, must efficiently and effectively prevent losses arising from all forms of wastes, accidents, errors, and crimes (WAEC) and others in any organization; else its existence is questionable. The importance of profits to any business enterprise cannot be overemphasized. Companies need profits to be in business; to keep and maintain its assets; to grow and diversify; to discharge its social responsibilities to both the government and society, especially host communities. Private security ensures that “earned profits” are not depleted, consumed or lost to preventable waste, accident, error, and crime.

 

How relevant is Private Security to the overall development of Nigeria considering the various security apparatus of the government?

The mistake most of us do make is to assume that government security apparatus is enough to grant us absolute security. The primary goal of government all over the world is security and welfare of the people. This differently put is that people all over the world expect their government to protect their life and property and guarantee them minimum standards of living. But, this lofty goal is far from attainable anywhere in the world. This is because public security resources base is weak. Where they appear to be effective, the public security resources alone cannot guarantee a stable, safe and crime-free environment. The various government security apparatus, as you called them, such as the Nigeria Police, Customs, Immigration, Prison, and Fire Services, NSCDC, NAFDAC, NDLEA, etc. are under-staffed, ill-motivated in terms of life assurance policy, accident allowance, good accommodation and clean environment, lack of training and retraining to keep them abreast with the latest technical knowledge of the industry. The authorities are not committed to equipping them so that they will be in a better position to discharge their constitutional responsibilities. The public security system managers benefit from these loopholes.

 

The relevant of Private Security is rooted in its complimentary and cooperative role with the relevant government agencies in the protection of lives and properties. Training, specialization, orientation and administration are other factors that make the Private Security relevant in Nigeria. Its primary goal of improving business profits by preventing loss a relevant business service; and it provides professional services to commerce and industry. This is in contrast to public security in all aspects. For instance, public security resources are society-oriented whereas private security resources are essentially client-oriented.

 

However, both must work together for proper security and sustainable development of the country. As has been stated in answer to one of your questions, company assets are measure of its strength. A weak resources base affects company performance and the implementation of its objectives and policies. Security presupposes a stable and relatively conducive environment in which an individual or organization may pursue its ends without disruption or harm, and without fear of such disturbance or injury. Security is a delicate balancing act. There can never sustainable development in an environment of uncontrollable loss or damage arising from preventable waste, accident, error and crimes.

 

It will interest you to know that crime-related losses in the Nigerian business community are conservatively put at N30 billion annually. Vandalization of oil pipelines, oil theft and bunkering in the Niger Delta is said to cost the nation on the average N7.7 billion annually. The cost of terrorism, kidnapping and violence crime is jointly put at N23billion yearly. If the security system has been effectively and efficiently managed, these losses would not have occurred in the first place; and the society would have benefited immensely through improved governance and provision of quality social services.

 

The Private Security also has the necessary human and material resources to protect commerce and industry. They also have more information in their possession compared to the police. Private Security is more relevant because it departs from the tradition of the public security agencies that adopt curative and reactive approaches in handling and treating security matters to emphasis pursue and sustain its core value which is loss prevention.

 

Recently, NIS called for the review of the Private Security Guards Act 2004, could you please tell us the summary of the Act and the specific areas your organization feel should be urgently reviewed and why?

The Private Guards Companies Act of 15 December, 1986, otherwise known as CAP 367 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990 as reviewed in 2004 limit security to mere watching, guarding, patrolling and carrying of money for the purpose of providing security. This is one of its many shortcomings. Security is today a profession. It has grown beyond these primordial functions. “Guarding” is a minute function in security. Modern security is a science that requires a wholistic approach with sophisticated equipment, technology and skills. And modern security legislation must ensure that security provides the balancing sciences, the regulating arts and the applicable technologies necessary to achieve the goals of assets protection and loss prevention.

 

Secondly, the Act failed to differentiate between public security which is society-oriented and private security which is client-oriented. This fundamental deficiency is not only misleading but also confusing with severe consequences in the security industry if not corrected. Because of this lack of definition of what really constitute security, every Thom and Henry sees himself as security practitioner.

 

Thirdly, the Act is deficient in establishing requirements and procedures for licensing private detectives and investigators as is obtainable elsewhere.

 

Fourthly, from its name to its contents the Act is concerned with Private Guards Companies and not security practitioners. In other words, the Act set out to regulate Guards Companies not the security employees. It is like regulating the ownership of vehicles and not regulating the drivers, the conductors and the passengers. The results are infiltration of the security industry by quacks, rising crime waves, increasing loss figures, and environment drenched in fear.

Fifthly, the Act failed to make provision for a body to regulate, control, monitor, supervise, and discipline Private Security practitioners and service providers. The new legislation should as a matter of priority establish a body to be called, “Council for the Registration of Private Security of Nigeria”, (CORPSON), charged with the responsibility of determining who are Private Security practitioners (and auxiliary service providers); what standards of knowledge and skill they should attain; establish and maintain a register of private security practitioners; and control the practice of the profession in all its ramifications.

 

The council would also help in the much needed sanitization of the Private Security industry as well as eliminate quacks and charlatans that have infiltrated the industry, set practicing standards, professionalize operators in the industry by mandating all levels of operators in the industry to become members of recognized professional bodies. Membership of professional bodies like the Nigerian Institute of Security would ensure proper discipline and subject practitioners and their companies to adhere strictly to the ethics and code of conducts expected of practitioners in the industry.

                                                                                      

The new law should correct one of the major deficiencies of the Private Guards Companies Act by ensuring that each private security association in Nigeria is represented on the board of CORPSON as of right. Such representative must be an Executive Council member of the recognized security association among others.

 

In recent times, many Private Security outfits have emerged; do you consider this to be a healthy development for the country?   

The truth is that Nigerians fear of crime, and awareness that criminal justice resources alone cannot effectively control crime has led to a growing use of individual and corporate measures, including private security products and services. A study carried out by the NIS in 2012 revealed that private security has provided employment and means of livelihood to nearly three million Nigerians. Even though 90 percent of them are poorly trained, ill-equipped, poorly remunerated and work in slavery conditions, it is a healthy development socio-economically. But, when viewed from the professional perspective, it is unhealthy. Over the years, security matters in Nigeria has been inundated by lack of focus, lack of institutional framework, absolute absence of professionalism and serious misconception to the extent that the profession become haven for dropouts and criminal elements in society thereby further exposing the profession to public scorn and ridicule. The days of these quacks and charlatans in the honoured security profession are numbered. They either qualify within months now or be shown the way out as their continue practice is doing more harm than good to the country. Most of the security incidents resulting in loss of lives, vital information and valued properties are traceable to these quacks masquerading as either security consultants or guards.

 

Many companies are engaging the services of contract security instead of creating security departments as part of their organization, what is the implication of this for both the organization and security personnel?   

The issue of contract security versus proprietary security services is a complex one. Apart from being a matter of choice, each has its merits and demerits. In Nigeria, the growth of proprietary security services has parallel that of contractual security services. Exception of armoured delivery service, all other security functions can be undertaken as proprietary or in-house activities. Various factors usually determine the decision to hire proprietary or contract security personnel or guards to be specific. These factors include but not limited to the location to be guarded, the size of the guard force required, its mission, the length of time the guards will be needed, and the quality of personnel required.

The advantages of contractual security services include lower cost. Contract guards are less expensive than a proprietary unit. In terms of salary, in-house guards earn more because of the general wage rate of the company employing them. In many cases, that wage level has been established by collective bargaining. The fact that they receive fewer fringe benefits and their services can be provided more economically by large contract firms by virtue of savings in costs of hiring, training, and insurance policy because of volume constitute added advantage. These have the negative impacts of attracting the wrath of labour union, public criticisms and condemnations and can also lead to labour unrest and expensive consequential costs. 

 

Liability insurance, payroll taxes, uniform and equipment, and the time involved in training, sick leave and vacations are all extra cost factors that must be considered in establishing proprietary security force. Administratively, establishing in-house guards service requires the development and administration of a recruitment programme, personnel screening procedures, and training and deployment programmes. It will also involve the direct supervision of all security personnel. Hiring contract security solves the administrative problems of scheduling and substituting manpower when someone is sick or terminates his employment.

 

Besides, there is no doubt that the administrative chores are substantially reduced when a contract security service is employed. At the same time, the contracting customer is obliged to check the supplier’s performance of contracted services on an ongoing basis, and he must additionally insist on a satisfactory level of quality at all times. To this extent, management of the client firm is not totally relieved of administrative responsibilities.

 

Also, when the need for guards change arises, it is necessary to lay off existing guards or take on additional manpower. Such changes may rather come suddenly or unexpectedly. The in-house security department has this flexibility in manpower. If they have extra men available for emergency use, such men are an unnecessary expense when they are idle. On the other hand, if there is a temporary decrease in the need for guards, it would hardly be efficient to dismiss extra men only to rehire additional guards at a short time later when the situation changes again.

With their larger pools of manpower, contract firms can use their personnel with a high degree of efficiency and flexibility. By proper scheduling, they can provide extra men on very short notice.

 

Security services users are often in favour of non-union security personnel. They often supported their position by arguing that such security personnel are not likely to go on strike, they are less apt to sympathize or support striking employees, and they can be paid less because they receive few, if any fringe benefits. In Nigeria, 80 percent of all unionized security staff are proprietary personnel.

 

Again, it is often suggested that contract security personnel can more readily and effectively enforce regulations than proprietary security personnel. The rationale is that contract personnel are paid by a different employer, and  

Because of their relatively low seniority, have few opportunities to form close association with other employees of the client. This produces a more consistently impartial performance of duty.

 

Expertise is often another issue that makes many to tilt towards engaging the services of contract security services. When a client hires a security staff, he hires the management of that service to guide him in his overall security programme. These and others not mentioned here constitute why any business concern subscribing to the arguments listed here would clearly favour hiring contract security services.

 

A close look at proprietary security services points also to several advantages including better quality personnel. The higher pay and fringe benefits often offered by employers, as well as the higher status of proprietary security employees attract higher quality personnel. Such employees have been more carefully screened, and they show a lower rate of labour turnover. In the areas of control and management, managers have a much greater degree of control over personnel when they are directly on the company’s payroll. The presence of contract supervisor between guards and client’s management can interface with the rapid and accurate flow of information either up or down.

 

A proprietary security force can be trained to suit the needs of the company, and the progress and effectiveness of training can be observed in this context. The performance of each member of the force can also be more readily evaluated. Loyalty is equally guaranteed. Proprietary security personnel are known to develop keener sense of loyalty to the company they are protecting than their contract counterparts. The contract security personnel who may be shifted from one client to another, and who have a high turnover rate, simply do not have the opportunity to generate any sense of loyalty to specific, often temporary, client-employer.

 

A survey undertaken by the NIS in 15 states of the federation recently revealed that many managers prefer to have their own men on the job. They feel that the company gain prestige by building its own security force to its own specifications, rather than renting one to an outsider.

 

In weighing the various factors on either side of the debate, the prudent manager will carefully study the quality and performance of security companies available to service his facility, his expectations and the immediate environment. He will assure himself of the standards of personnel, training and supervision. He will make a careful analysis of the comparative costs for proprietary or contract security services, and he will make an estimate as to their relative effectiveness in his careful assessment. But, as a general advice, in situation where the demand for personnel fluctuates considerably, a contract security service is probably indicated. If a fairly-large and stable security force is required, a proprietary security service might be favoured.

 

Users of contract security services do so for reasons of economic or to avoid the administrative headaches of labour and personnel management problems. I am not against contract security but I frown at a situation where security personnel are paid a slave-like wages by the contract firm after collecting reasonable amount from the client-company. An example is where a contract firm collects N80,000 and N120,000 monthly for each security staff and supervisor respectively from the client employer, but ended up paying each security staff and supervisors N30,000 and N40,000 respectively. Is this fair and justifiable? Payments of peanuts as salary to staff have created more criminals in the workplace and in the society than we can imagine. Slave-like wages erodes staff self confidence, props up internal tension, generates frustration, builds up anger and finally results in violence crimes both at home and workplace. It constitutes security threat. Non-payment of salary as at when due also falls within this category. I believe that the labourer is worthy of his wages.

 

In recent times, NIS has tried to promote the training of security personnel in the country. Are you satisfied with the level of support from both the government and the private sector?

 The training of private security personnel at all levels is not something to be toyed with. This is the only means of making the profession popular, acceptable and attractive as well as brings about improvement in the performance, wellbeing and remuneration of personnel. The Nigerian Institute of Security has taken up the training of private security personnel at all levels as core responsibility. The support we are receiving from the government and corporate organizations is encouraging and an indication that Nigerians are beginning to know and value the importance of private security resources in the overall development of the country.

 

Specifically, what are the expectations and kind of supports NIS require from government and organizations?

Presently, the Institute lack modern office infrastructures, operational vehicles, information and communication facilities like modern computers, internet, fax machine and a befitting office accommodation. The office space donated to the Institute by the Rivers State Government need furniture and other office equipment to make it attractive and functional. Our library is begging for security books. Our planned forensic laboratory needs money to materialize. We cannot do all this without financial support yet we cannot go about with plates in hands begging for aids, but appeal to government, corporate bodies and philanthropic individuals to come to our aid.

 

Nigeria has been described as a country with very low security awareness. How true is this?

 It is very wrong to say that there is no security awareness in Nigeria or that the level of our security awareness is low. Why most people fell that there is no security awareness in the country is that we do not learn from our past mistakes. We do not see or hear things happening elsewhere and learn a lesson or two by propping into them. We do not assume our security to be our individual and collective responsibility. Rather, we see security as the duty of the police or other law enforcement agencies. Even, when we know of crime and criminals, we do not alert the police who need this information to function effectively. The unfriendly posture and attitude of the police towards information providers also constitute stumbling blocks that weaken citizens’ participation in solving crimes and social decay. Above all, illiteracy, hunger, poverty, frustration and other social vices also contribute to low security consciousness in the country. However, security challenges such as oil theft, kidnapping, terrorism and cultism, of recent, have helped drive security to the front banner in Nigeria.

 

As an expert, what would you give as common security threats in Nigeria as at today?

 For proper understanding of security threat, it is pertinent that we come to term with the difference between risk and threat. Risk is the probability that a threat agent (cause) we exploit an environment or asset vulnerability (weakness) and thereby create an effect detrimental to the environment or asset. On the other hand, a threat is a possible source of danger to an asset, an environment or nation as the case might be. A threat agent is a person or phenomenon that can make a threat manifest. These threat agents can be natural or human. Threats can also be accidental or deliberate. But, when we talk of national security we are concerned with those phenomenon or human agents that can create detrimental effects to the country that can disrupt the smooth running of the nation. With the exception of once in a while floods, Nigeria is free from most devastating natural disasters.

 

The emergence of such groups as neighbourhood cults, urban and political guerrilla forces, terrorists, militias, religion fundamentalists and organized criminal groups like oil theft syndicates, kidnapping cells, fraudsters in government and corruption constitute threat to the corporate existence of Nigeria. The trend is quite capable of spreading fast and reducing the country to a state of anarchy. We have sadly witnessed such trends before. Armed robbery, the mafia called “secret cult”, which has now extends beyond our institutions of higher learning to swallow the entire society, peddling of hard drugs, religious and political extremist bodies etc. all evolved as little cells and then developed into mighty oak trees because they were not promptly dealt with when they started to rear their ugly heads. Boko Haram was like child’s play when it started in 2009 in Maiduguri, Borno State. Today, it has grown into a monster that is threatening the corporate existence of the country. Three States, Borno, Yobe and Adamawa are under siege. The Niger Delta militants today constitute severe burden on the federal government. For instance, the amount of money spent on the amnesty programme alone is more than many states annual budgets. While the country’s civil servant monthly minimum wage is N18, 000; a militant is paid N75, 000 monthly for doing nothing. What a country! Yet, the Niger Delta region has remained underdeveloped! Perhaps, a study of how the Niger Delta militants were used to underdeveloped the Niger Delta Region should be called for here. A research into the role of the military and other security agencies in perpetuating these threats so as to remain relevant is necessary if we must move out of this circle of violence.   

 

We do not have to resort to the frequent use of the military to deal with these threats each time they emerge. We all appreciate that the military do not have the numbers, the orientation and the spread to cope with frequency at which these gangs emerge or the conflicts which they are used to promote occur. The federal government needs to upgrade the mobile police force into an operational militia force or create an official militia army, as it is in the United States of America to deal effectively with these urban guerrilla bands and make appropriate laws to deal with the authorities and individuals sponsoring them. It was my expectation that the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army which was created to respond to insurgency activities in northeastern Nigeria and based in Maiduguri, Borno State will be appropriately designated and mandated by legislation to deal with terrorism and urban guerrilla activities in the country. Unfortunately it turned out to be another division of the regular army. The Nigerian National Guards which was set up in 1989 by decree to combat crime and terrorism was abandoned after much time, efforts, and money have been sunk into it because its mission was said to overlap both the police and army and the fear that it could be used for political witch-hunting and intimidation. With the police is political witch-hunting and intimidation not very much with us? Why can’t we sum up the political will to address specific security challenges and leave unnecessary imaginary fears for once?

 

The level of commonly presumed crimes like theft, burglary, kidnapping, murder and assault had risen sharply over the years, indeed since the return to civilian polity. To deal with these, side by side the violent crimes, the strength of the Nigeria Police has been increased three folds over one decade and is still increasing rapidly. The police themselves as evident in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja, have chosen to deal with the emergent security threats by regular patrols, by congregating its personnel at traffic junctions and via Swift Operation Squad vehicular operation. They have also resorted to the rather unfortunate methods of deploying large numbers of their personnel to the so called “Big men” as guards. These methods have had limited successes and is unhealthy for what has reached a crisis situation in some parts of the country. What is needed now is the introduction of solid police methods and programmes to match the current threats and plans for the future.

 

Some of the silent threats to national security are the poor state of the national economy, near collapsed educational sector, expensive food prices and unemployment. These problems pose major threats not only to national security but also to our future generations and indeed the nation psyche. It is absolutely erroneous for us to continue to think that the oil revenue, which took over as the principal foreign earner and contributor to our economy since 1970 and served the twelve States sumptuously will in 2014 and beyond continue to serve our 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja well considering the speed with which the treasury is being looted. The need to diversify and expand the economic base of the country has become long overdue and there should be a comprehensive programme to match action with words. It will be another disservice to Nigeria if the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan failed to deemphasize Nigeria’s dependence on oil. The transformation programme should be directed at driving the nation’s economy from reliance on oil to an industrial and agricultural based economy. Wealth from oil and raw materials for the attainment of this height are abundant in the country. What is the problem then?

 

Another grave threat to national security is corruption. Nigeria is a corrupt nation. Corruption has virtually become endemic in this country. It has also eaten so deep into all fiber of the Nigeria society that nothing seems to be working rightly again. The craze for share of the national cake has forced many who have no access to steal legitimately into crime and criminality. If recent disclosures are anything to go by, it is clear that the amount of money stolen with writing implements is far higher than that stolen with guns. In all, Nigeria continues to sink and the masses wanton in poverty and misery.

 

Most countries of the world face external threats to their national security. So do Nigeria. These threats should be well appreciated, identified, assessed, analyzed and controlled. Although the extent of external threats which a country faces is usually increased or decreased by the foreign policies of the country concern; such threats could be categorized in terms of constant or regular threats based on the geography, topography, environment, etc. of the country. Volatile border situations, historical, colonial, religious proliferations, immigration and attractive mineral deposits are some of the factors that can determine the degree of external threats of a constant or regular nature a nation is exposed.

 

Some experts have averred that globalization is the extension of neo-colonialism; some claimed it is industrial cum economic enslavement of the developing world. This assertion points to globalization as external threat to underdeveloped world, including Nigeria.  This conclusion is inevitable while we remain underdeveloped and unable to compete with the industrialized world. But, the success of Japan, India, Malaysia, Taiwan, etc. should encourage us to believe that if we develop the correct focus and strategy, we could find a niche in the maze of glaring opportunities, which we can exploit to our advantage. By carefully worked out policies and strategies, we should be able to prevent our country from being the dumping ground for useless or morally polluted “industrial products”. We must not forget so soon the experience we suffered in the hands of Mr. Turner and his gang of saboteurs who tried to destroy our economy through economic sabotage that led to the massive investigation in the 1977/78 and resulted in the imprisonment and deportation of several expatriates for economic espionage and related offences. The activities of two Indian Vaswanis brothers which nearly crippled the Nigeria economy and the recent exposure of the existence of Hezbollah foreign terrorists’ cells and armory in the country are cases in point.

 

Modern technology, including spying satellites and advanced computers have exposed this country just like most other countries to extra terrestrial espionage and sabotage. In this respect, we have become victims of a global trend over which we have no defense or control and from which we derive little positive result due to our backward technological development. We must redirect and reorder our priorities and objectives to catch up with these modern trends.

 

Science also plays a major role in external threats to our national security. The threats of chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction have remained and continue to remain potent. We can go on and on.

Role of University in Security

ROLE OF UNIVERSITY IN SECURITY

 

Over the years, I have been in the forefront of the campaign for effective integration of security into all aspects of the socio-economic decision making in Nigeria for visible transformation of the country.  This perception is anchored on my belief that through concerted efforts in the areas of security research, education and training Nigeria can emerge not only a leading economy in the world but a power to be reckoned with.

 

As an advocate and promoter of scientific study of security, I am convinced that University can play a very valuable role in all these areas. In many respects, it is overdue that universities become directly involved in this subject. For too long now, in my opinion, security has been assumed to be the exclusive domain of government authorities to the detriment of nations. But prevention of loss arising from waste, accident, error, and crime (WAEC) among others is very much a question of new knowledge; and the research for new understandings relating workings of the natural world to resources protection, and control of human behaviors as well as the processes and development of policies, politics, production/distribution of goods and services, management styles and institution, and of the goals and effectiveness of communication and information. All these areas are properly the realm of university enquiry, study, and teaching.

 

 

Not least among the reasons for university involvement is the increasing importance to society of, and the increasing demand for, persons with a broad but coherent security science’s background and the familiarity in social sciences, policy and business management, who can undertake the loss prevention tasks of the future while solving the security challenges of today. These people can only come from universities who have given substantial and deliberate integrated attention to the issues of security as a topic of scholarly study.

 

Again, a university has a distinct advantage over government institutions in addressing security as a subject for research and training. It can, or should be able to, call on persons in the front rank of the wide range of areas of knowledge and professional study needed, not as “hired experts” but as colleagues involved in the intellectual adventure and as dedicated teachers. The fact that the Nigerian Institute of Security is in collaboration with the University of Port Harcourt to support the scientific study of security shows not only the remarkable cooperation that can be achieved, but that the subject itself is a satisfying challenge, and is relevant to a very wide range of university interests.

 

Not being tied to a single government organization gives a university freedom and indeed stimulus to compare and contrast different mechanisms and structures of security without having to defend any; and to analyze weaknesses and strong points in the design of security systems as well as in their operations and management.

 

Nigeria has at present three tiers of government and at least five different structures and styles of security. These provide rich source materials for comparative studies of the way similar issues are addressed in this country; comparisons which can then be extended to other countries. Universities can carry out such comparisons much better than could government agencies, but all of us can benefit from the results.

 

A university also has the luxury of hindsight. It can without defensiveness or embarrassment examine the past to see what happened after a security breach occurred, and can analyze what has been learned, if anything, collectively, by security operatives, administrators, and institutions from their successes and their mistakes over the past twenty years or more. This is a luxury that is rarely available to government security practitioners or their institutions, which commonly have to embark on new security arrangements and maneuverings, in different locale, before they have to properly solve the current security challenge or incident.

 

 Sometimes, also government security operatives and administrators and institutions do not like to point out their own mistakes. Universities can have fun doing just that. And, certainly, not least among its advantages, a university has the tremendous stimulus of addressing these challenging and complex topics in partnership with fresh, inquiring and critical student minds, who not only view the issues from new angles but who can bring quite new ideas from which we all benefit.

 

 Universities should aim at promoting, supporting, and enhancing academic research, technology development, education and training of higher level security practitioners in all aspects of the profession. Recently, the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Abuja, granted the country’s first four year bachelor’s degree in criminology and security studies, and graduate degree study is springing up there and other schools around the country. The University of Lagos, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State University of Science and Technology and a few others also offer short term part-time and weekend programmes in security and safety. Other universities are following NOUN’s lead. Ambos Ali University, Ekpoma and Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island has recently received approval to offer an diploma and undergraduate programme respectively in security. These universities are also expanding their security programmes to include a master’s degree in security.        

 

 

On the other side of the coin, a university, of course, faces some real challenges in establishing and maintaining, a balanced and effective effort in security studies and training. Some, that I have noted at the University of Port Harcourt include:

  1. Unbalanced Interests. Despite good intention at the outset, it requires a lot of work, patience, and tact to sustain balanced interests from the various disciplines – natural sciences, social sciences and human sciences, medical/health sciences, political sciences, legal and economics faculties, computer and management sciences, etc. This balanced interest will not be obtained and sustained automatically. The initial enthusiasm wears off, often, when the real difficulties of the subject become apparent. To keep interests in such a multi-dimensional subject requires strong drive at the center, and accepted leadership among prima donnas. Part of the problems have been people not understanding all the roles and specialties, and what the different departments and faculties bring together

                                                           

  1. Lack of funding for research and student support. The near absence of funding for security research and student support has been identified as the major factor militating against security education in Nigeria. Research cannot be wished away because it provides the needed vision and directions; it also affords the channel through which past security challenges are seen; present security challenges are analyzed and future security challenges are predicted and solutions proffer in a more scientific manner.

 

  1. As educational and training institutions, universities will want to produce graduates whose professional careers lie in security and its administration. There is bound to be a growing employment market in this subject area. But the whole concept and structure of security is undergoing legal, institutional and conceptual change. Universities should be part of this change and universities should provide the new knowledge that will influence its direction. In some way, presently established security systems do not serve either the industry, government or the public very well. This is not a trivial difficulty. Its seriousness is reflected in pure losses and crimes of diverse dimensions. Once university fully assumes its roles in security in terms of supply quality personnel and technology the market will widen and deepen to absorb the products.

 

  1. “Security and its implications” is a difficult research topic in its own right. It may be looked at as a modern expression of the dilemma of societal learning and attempts by society to manage itself, control its actions, protect its resources and preserve its laws. Such research is essentially a study of ethics, human rights, behavior, tangible and intangible material ownership and control, and it probes deeply into the basis of socio-economic concepts and loss control. A different combination of faculty involvement, intellectual approaches, and leadership may be needed for research into the philosophy and political ramifications of security than for research into the practical aspects and application as well as the training of practitioners.

 

  1. A further immense valuable role of a university in security is that it provides a focus for students’ actions and activism on questions having to do with a wide range of security and societal concerns; and on the relationship between democracy, government, business and loss control and prevention.

 

Security is the livewire of any nation. Once national security is threatened the country crawls; once national security is breached the country collapsed. But the good news is that, once national security is strengthened the economy grows and the nation becomes powerful and respected and the citizenry becomes prosperous and happy. The level of any nation’s development is dependent on its quality of security operatives, administrators, institutions and technology. Above all, the skills, expertise, know-how and technology needed to keep the security mechanism functioning properly are the products of university research, education and training.

 

The Nigerian security industry must be professionally driven and technologically propelled. And it is the responsibility of the university system to provide the intellectual capacity and the technological platform or knowhow. Commerce and industry must receive strong university support to design, manufacture, and market and manage both tangible and intangible security resources for efficient and effective protection of lives and properties and prevention of losses for the betterment of mankind.

 

Security is everybody’s business but the role of the university in security cannot be overemphasized. Besides, security is too important a business to be left in the hands of government agents and agencies alone.  It is my humble submission that through concerted efforts in the areas of security research, education and training the roles of universities in security will become visible to all, appreciated by all and the nation will be better for it through robust economy and peaceful coexistence.

Personal Security During Christmas and New Year Celebrations

PERSONAL SECURITY DURING CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS

 

Introduction

It is another celebration season and holiday time. The atmosphere is already charged; merry mode pervades the air; preparations are on top gears; but the fears, the fear of insecurity is real. Celebration periods in Nigeria of recent have always left us with tears and blood. If not bomb attacks in Northern Nigeria, it will be violence communal clashes in the Middle Belt or kidnapping in the Niger Delta or robberies in Western Nigeria. The hurry to amass wealth at this period coupled with mass movements of people and properties have always resulted in fatal road mishaps and air crashes which have remained regular features of yuletide seasons in the country.

The general look at the nation’s security level reveals a total breakdown of law and order. Crime rates are too high. Kidnappings have reached a dangerous level; cult clashes have assumed a disturbing dimension; armed robbery is the order of the day; rapping and cyber crimes are common place. The national security situation is a pointer to the near failure of government. This is because the primary purpose of government is welfare and security of its people.

But, are these conditions enough reasons why we should skip Christmas and New Year celebrations in Nigeria? Definitely, NO! We must join the entire world to rejoice and celebrate the Saviour and the Christ. However, in doing this, we must take cognizance of the nation’s security situation. In other words, we must pay greater attention to our personal security.

Personal security stipulates that you are responsible for your own security. The rule is to be conscious of the security situation within your immediate environment; to know the characters living around you, your vulnerability to attacks, and the proximity of any law enforcement agencies etc.

With increased incidents of terrorism, hostage taking, kidnapping, rapping, robbery and bomb attacks our personal security during Christmas and New Year celebrations is of extreme importance.

Importance of Personal Security

Personal involvement is the hallmark of a successful personal security programme. The effectiveness of any personal security programme ultimately depends on the extent to which the individual is willing to use the security measures in place. It is not enough to memorize personal security hints or tips word for word, without using them. A person’s lifestyle contributes to the vulnerability of the person and influences the effectiveness of steps taken to reduce such vulnerability. Personal security demands that you are responsible for your own protection. It ensures that everyone takes personal responsibility for his own security. You must take ownership of every situation you encounter. Good personal security is a continuous and ongoing proportionately to the level of commitment of the person concern. The first and chief security officer in all your endeavours is you.

Personal Security Hints

The problems of personal security during yuletide seasons and holiday times vary greatly with each individual’s case in terms of potential hazards and threats. It is therefore impossible to give definite advice to cover all situations in which personal security is threatened during celebrations and holidays.

However, the following simple guides are designed to reduce the chance of being attacked, and a way out in a worst-case situation.

  • Be sensitive to your environment. Understand your neighbourhoods. Know what is normal and what is abnormal.
  • Maintain a positive, quiet and low profile attitude as opposed to flamboyant behavior. Dress down. Do not flash money or jewelry.
  • Manage your journey this yuletide period properly. Avoid night travelling. Accidents are not only the reoccurring incidents in night travels but armed robbery also abound.
  • Let your itinerary be known to a reliable member of your household only. Your household should not disclose information of your whereabouts to anybody.
  • Avoid places that are frequent by high-profile individuals, which might be terrorists’ targets.
  • Avoid overcrowded areas that might be terrorist’s delight, especially if you are celebrating or holidaying in any of the northeastern states of Nigeria.
  • Do not keep late nights and beware of bad company, especially this period.
  • Avoid lonely spots for your relaxation and do not walk in isolated areas. Always look back constantly to observe who may be following you.
  • It is advisable to keep to well-lit streets wherever possible. Stay away from blue-light districts, cheap and unsecured bars and parks at night.
  • Be careful while giving a lift to unknown persons, as it can be very dangerous.
  • Carry your wallet in your trouser side pocket rather than the back pocket, to make it difficult for a thief to remove without your knowledge.
  • If you notice one face or car following you for a long time, stop and see whether the follower would stop, walk or drive past.
  • If you are accosted by unknown persons, or a pursuing suspicious car, change direction or head for a safe zone for assistance.
  • Do not leave your drinks unattended in the midst of friends and foes, it can be harmful.
  • Be very conscious when accompanying an associate to unknown destination to avoid being lured. Know the company you keep! Criminals never strike without an insider’s connection or information.
  • The use of personal alarm/minder to draw attention if attacked is advisable.
  • Discourage people from visiting you at odd hours unless it is absolutely necessary.
  • Keep your future visitors/appointments to the barest minimum. Do not publicize your movements.
  • Do not accept gifts from unknown persons or where you do not know the source of such gift. Be mindful of what you eat and where you eat.
  • Avoid carrying the original documents of your vehicle. Photocopies are preferable.
  • Avoid entering a cab that has more than two (2) passengers.
  • Avoid travelling with huge amount of money inside your car. Keep only enough cash at home.
  • When watching television or listening to the radio or entertaining guests especially at night, ensure all windows and doors are securely locked.
  • If the key to any door, sideboard, wardrobe, locker, and drawer is lost, replace the lock immediately.
  • Do not leave your keys carelessly or send them through unreliable person to your household. Keys can be duplicated in minutes.
  • Brief members of your household on visitor control, door management, suspicious persons and unusual activities identifications, telephone answering procedures, and admittance of maintenance men to the residence. Their awareness of emergency telephone numbers is vital. Domestic employees can also make or mar your personal security.
  • Always keep vehicle doors locked while driving. Do not lower windows more than two or three inches, particularly while passing through unsafe or unknown areas.
  • Be extremely cautious about stopping to help a distress person or motorist. Follow your instinct. If you must, stay in your car and roll down your window two or three inches; do not turn off the engine and be prepared to drive off as soon as you notice foul play.
  • Always wear your seat belt. It protects life and helps you maintain control of your vehicle during evasive driving.
  • Remove any object that can aid intruders into your house or premises such as ladder, hammer, etc.
  • Be mindful of that business with promise of large or abnormal profit. It could be hoax.
  • Be wary of self profess service providers; they may be robbers or kidnappers studying the environment in disguise. Identify them properly.
  • Never volunteer your name, address, or telephone numbers (or that of any other person) to unknown individuals over the telephone, whatever the circumstances.
  • Be mindful of the fact that there are no real differences between the types of crimes and criminal groups that commit them in the city and in the country-side. If you must celebrate or holiday away from home stay in a safe, secured and good hotel and eat in a good restaurant.
  • Choose wisely the sporting and recreational activities you engage in during this festive periods as these often turn otherwise happy occasions into tragedy.
  • Do not drink and drive. Do not drive while drunk. Do not make alcohol the KEY and/or GOAL of your celebration. Avoid “one for the road” persuasion and do not stop for a drink on the way home from leisure activities. The social drinker is one of the leading causes of traffic collisions; and any driver has a greater chance of being killed if driving while intoxicated. Alcohol also plays a role in causing many other types of accidents at home and when participating in various leisure activities. Be warned!
  • Once again, in terrorists’ prone zone, avoid the main target area or the hot spots.
  • In case of armed robbery attack, do not be aggressive and never try to escape; be calm and comply with your captors’ directives; do not jeopardize your life in defence of your money or property and do not look at their faces as they may think that you want to know their identity. Their reaction could be fatal.

Our focus here is, briefly, to provide you with crack security countermeasures capable of improving your security consciousness thus enabling you to checkmate and counter looming threats by terrorists and other criminals during this Christmas and New Year celebrations.

If these hints are observed, the problems of victimization and criminalization would have been solved or reduced considerably; and crimes and criminals deterred. It would have also removed opportunities for a criminal to take advantages of you or your property by presenting an unattractive target to the criminal. Its strict observance promises to prevent crimes and guarantee safety and security of the person and property. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!

Ebubu Requests for Police Post

The people of Ebubu in Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State of Nigeria have called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to establish a Police Post to check rising cases of cultism, armed robbery, rapping and other crimes in the area. In a letter to the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, the Traditional Rulers, Chiefs, and Elders pointed to the recent rival cult clashes in the area which left several people dead and disrupted the socio-economic life of Ebubu for almost two months.  

The letter reads in part, “The Traditional Rulers, Chiefs and Elders of Ebubu met yesterday over the cult crisis that left many people dead and the social and economic life of Ebubu disrupted and resolved to request for permanent Police presence in the area”.

They noted that the ad-hoc arrangements of drafting in the police during emergencies have failed to check emerging security challenges in the area, stressing that the distance between the Eleme Divisional Police Headquarters in Ogale Nchia and the Nonwa Police Station in Tai Local Government Area “is so much that these criminals capitalized on it to perpetuating their crimes”. The presence of security’s red spot like the Trailer Park in Ejamah Ebubu, its proximity to other emerging criminals breeding centers like Onne Port (FOT Junction), Eleme New Town in Ogale, and AP in Alesa, combined to put so much pressure on the existing security resources in Ebubu thus the urgent need for permanent police post in the area.

“We also wish to point out that the former Ebubu Health Center is vacant. The Center has also been inspected and found suitable by the former Eleme Police DPO, Mr. Fienyobo Sinclair earlier this year and was donated for use by the force”, the letter explained.

It is also evident that the traditional rulers, chiefs, elders, and elites of Ebubu have made former physical presentation of their demands to the Rivers State Deputy Commissioner of Police in Port Harcourt yet nothing positive have come out.

It is very unfortunate that such an important request that bears on the peace and security of a people has received no attention. The continue delay, silence and inaction of the Rivers State Police authority on this issue calls for concern by all well-meaning people of Ebubu and Eleme.

The provision of security is the sole responsibility of the Government and not traditional rulers that are neither recognized nor paid nor empowered through whatever means by the Government to execute security functions.

Having provided adequate accommodation and agreed to cooperate with law enforcement authorities, it is the opinion of the custodians of the people’s culture and tradition that if their request is granted the rising cases of insecurity in Ebubu will be checked and lasting peace will return to the area.