Mr. Emmanuel Ogbor, MD Spring Security and Safety Consult Limited.
Story by Dili Utomi.
The general security problems in the country today is a cause for concern for the young as well as the old alike as this has caused such untold hardship on the citizenry for the past decade and half. It is even more so today as people now have the audacity and become much more daring as to attempt stopping planes from taking off and also trying to stop trains in motion as recorded over the past two days in Kaduna and Abuja respectively.
In a bid to gauge the extent of damage that the issues of the Book Haram, bandits, cattle rustlers, kidnappers armed robbers and all other non state actors have caused the general populace, we spoke with an expert on security whose experience in the security business spans decades.
Mr. Emmanuel Ogbor is the managing director of the Spring Security and Safety Consult Limited, his company is based in Apapa Lagos, he shares with us his knowledge, experience and and his idea of the solution to the problem of insecurity in the country.
Mr. Ogbor says that he has been into the security business for decades now and that it is more of a passion than a business. He reminisced on the time he was growing up around the Sandgrouse area of Lagos Island as a kid in the late 1970s as he remembered with nostalgia that then one could walk all the way from Obalende to Surulere without any kind of fear of molestation, he noted that “The police then were friendlier and respected unlike now that they are hated and feared. There has been a shift from the kind of security architecture that we had then and this has degenerated into what we have now. The change actually began in the late 1980s when we started giving more recognition to affluence than the source of wealth. So we started changing our lifestyles from the simple contentment life that we were living and the attention moved to how we can make money without minding the security implications of our actions and then of course less attention was paid to the welfare of the rank and file of the police force”.
On the recent incidents of the Kaduna Airport and Abuja train attacks over the past two days, the experienced security personnel says that “The truth is that if we are not careful, we may likely have more of these attacks coming up, we have to be proactive in order to nip these in the bud right now”. He says that the government of the day has hessitated enough in declaring these people as terrorists, he admonished them to quickly do so and stop treating these people with kid gloves. He asked the rhetorical question “Since a court declared these people as terrorists, what has been the stand of the government? They need to act to filter these people out of the general populace, name and shame them and deal with them appropriately, this is what will address this issue of insecurity”. He says that if this is not done quickly, that it was Kaduna and Abuja a few days ago, the level of daring by the terrorists may lead them to start thinking of coming to cause havoc in Lagos.
He also admonished the military to take up the challenge and show what they can do by applying their professional knowledge to solve the problems.
On the question of the scale of insecurity as it has metamorphosised from Boko Haram to bandits to cattle rustling and then hostage taking for commercial purposes, Mr. Ogbor said that the government was aware of the problems from the word go as he quoted the late Sani Abacha who said that “If any security breach lasts more than a day, the government has a hand in it. You do remember the case of the ex-naval officer who went on television last year to say that a lot of the people in this government today were interrogated by him as a naval intelligence officer over their parts in causing insecurity in the country and nothing has been done about it”. The government should stop treating the issue of insecurity with kid gloves.
“Quickly, part of what I consider the solutions to the problems of insecurity in the country is that we should embrace and implement the idea of State Police, you cannot bring someone who knows next to nothing like for example from Nassarawa to Lagos and expect that person to immediately acquaint him or herself with the terrain and start acting to maintain security within the local area, but if you employ a Police man who is from that locality, you can quickly nip any insecurity in the bud because he is well acquainted with the people and structures of that area. So I recommend the American model where a policeman cannot be recruited into the police force if he or she lives out a particular kilometer radius off the police jurisdiction”.
Mr. Ogbor advocates that the constitution be ammended to allow the establishment of the State and Local Police forces so that the insecurity in the land can be forestalled.
On what he wants the government to do, Mr. ogbor says that though he does not think that they have much time to act because of the reason of the next one year being an election year, he says that they may be more preoccupied with that process, but advised that they come up with a holistic approach to overhaul the architectural structure of the Nigerian security so that the problems may be solved, they should have better intelligence gathering mechanism so that they will be in a better position to ask the military to move in and do their jobs, he concluded.
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