BY MOHAMMED ISMAIL
The spate of crime and security challenges currently bedeviling the nation is a source of concern for Nigerians. The rising wave of crime which precipitated to a near break down of law and order is becoming not only a source of concern to the people but has of recent ignited debate about where the country is heading to under an administration that has only largely succeeded in politicizing the issue instead of using the huge security votes judiciously to contain the threat that has so far affected many homes and families. The spate of human carnage and needless social insecurity that has become our daily experience is not only a source of worry but a disturbing sore that seems to defy any known panacea in sight. Coupled with that, is the inept leadership that is either complicit or is completely at a lost about how to deal with the myriads of security challenges that is threatening our corporate existence as a nation. Due to the deluge of criminal activities that poses grave security challenges in our clime, the country is becoming a hallmark of anti social cohabitation which gave rise to the surfeit security lapses that make us to operate on the verge of the precipice, making all of us to be vulnerable and susceptible to violent attacks on daily basis. As such, we perpetually remain on our guards and are even surprised when a violent crime did not jolt us out of our offices, residential abodes or while on transit.
The security machinery, that is supposed to be part of the solution, is either unwilling or even complicit in many instances, coupled with that is the poor training, remuneration and bad equipment the security personnel has to contend with in the course of doing their job. Therefore, the security personnel can only be expected to make a woefully dismal outing in curving crime rate in our polity. To compound issues, the security is mostly fingered as the brain behind most of the incidences of crime especially on our high ways, otherwise, how can a discerning mind excuse the joint patrol teams that dotted all nooks and crannies of our federal roads, some at a close proximity of not more than 10 kilometers apart and yet incidences of armed robbery are on the increase. A deep thinking fellow, will not overstretch his thinking faculty to establish a correlation between the activities of the dare devil armed robbers that threatens the lives of all commuters travelling on our highways and those of the security personnel who uses the armory of weapons at their disposal to intimidate, coerce and threaten commuters into parting with the mandatory toll gates that has now become a law at the various check points across the country. Some unlucky commuters that have the audacity to challenge such misdeeds are harassed, dehumanized and even felled by these trigger happy miscreants wearing the toga of authority whose open intimidation, aggression and virulence is nothing short of the antics of the real arm robbers. It was on record that on many instances, victims of armed robbery have alleged that their marauders were kitted in either the military or police uniforms. Although one may tend to disregard the allegations of the victims on the assumption that in most instances the robbers who appeared in uniforms are impersonators, on another thought, the allegation become more potent in the face of the fact that how can a criminal come about security arsenals without the involvement or consent of the security personnel. A case in time DESERT HERALD can recalled was the involvement of a former police commissioner of the defunct Bendel State George Nyamu in the infamous saga of robbery king-pin Anenih whose exploits in the inglorious trade will not be easily forgotten in the near future. Another recent case of arms transaction between some members of the Nigerian army with some Nigerians of questionable character will not escape the memory of this writer hastily.
Due to the aforementioned, security has eluded us like a plague as a people, with all sort of criminals ranging from kidnappers, political thugs, area boys unleashing a reign of terror on the polity, thereby making the terrain to be a hot bed of crises and a terrible one to live by the innocent and the law abiding citizen. That is not even the source of worry as Nigerians, knowing that it has become their fate to carry the cross of social insecurity, have devised survival tactics in the face of the rising anarchy brewing in the land. The source of worry according to investigation by this paper lies with the recent boldness by the men of the under-world to step up their hideously nefarious activities to yet another ignominable dimension. In the past and even of recent, there were deluge of news paper reports that some dare devil armed robbers in Zamfara State have attacked many villages where they killed 10 people and injured many more with impunity, to avenge the alleged killing of their kith and kin by security operatives and vigilante groups. The armed robbers went about their killing spree unperturbed and without facing any challenge from any quarter. Preceding that ugly incident was the report that 50 people lost their lives along Lokoja- Lagos highway courtesy of armed robbers who waylay the bus in which they were travelling with. The ill fated bus carrying the victims was on its route to Abuja from Lagos in the dead of the night when it was ambushed by the deadly lords of the night with the passengers asked to lie on the surface of the road. As the hapless passengers lie recumbently on the road, a bus also heading to Abuja followed by an articulated vehicle smashed them to pieces. Within the blink of an eye, the atmosphere turned to a theatre of blood making even the heartless arm robbers to flee the scene.
All over the world, hardened criminals live by accepting retribution as part of the price they have to pay for being evil and as such the popular phrase “He who lives by the gun will die by the gun” was coined. But in Nigeria criminals have started avenging the killing of their brethrens relegating that popular phrase to the back ground which is a new dimension to the world of crime.
While the new acting IGP AD Abubakar has started with high hopes, commitment and new approach to solving the security crisis in Nigeria, the politics at the presidency coupled with the usual activities of influential Nigeria’s that have so far proven to be above the law is already undermining and frustrating the new Police boss. His recommendation that earlier saw the retirement or postings of some senior officers and his resolved to disengaged the services of police men attached to powerful individuals, companies and politicians which violated the provision of the constitution and his authority as the man in-charge has been reversed by the presidency as exclusively gathered by DESERT HERALD. What the ugly development means is that the hope of restoring security to Nigerians through a well equipped, dedicated and corrupt free police force has been shattered by the powers of the presidency.