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All arms of Govt should ensure national security – NIPR boss

By SIMEON  NDAJI
After  the  bombing of the  Nigeria Police  Force  Headquarters in  Abuja by Boko Haram,  another threat came again,telling  the Inspector  General of Police(IGP),Hafiz  Ringim to beg… even resign or expect more havoc.

The  implication of this  threat is that  there is  no peace in the offing. Ironically, the enemies appear to be more battle-ready as they have made the North ungovernable. Robbers now hide under the cover of Boko Haram to rob and kill.These ugly incidents undoubtedly will  degenerate  the image of Nigeria that needs redemption.

Barrister Jide Ologun, Chairman, Nigerian Institute of  Public Relation(NIPR) spoke  to Saturday  Vanguard  on this issue.Excerpts:

Barr. Ologun

The use of terrorism and other forms of violence have become a way of expressing grievances in Nigeria. What is responsible for this?
When we talk about grievances it depends on how people feel. When communication flow is not effective in expressing grievances amicably, then violent expression becomes an option. And that is a product of absence of understanding.

How can the society get rid of Boko Haram saga and the  state of anomie?

You can’t get rid of security anomaly. You can only minimise the situation because as long as we have human relations there will be friction, and professional approach is to be proactive, knowing that security is both a process and product, and one helpful device is to appreciate the needs and yearnings of stakeholders and seek to meet the need for mutual benefit to have a premium appreciation for the presentation/protection of lives and properties of humanity.

In June 3, 2011, President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Terrorism (Prevention) Bill 2011 and Money Laundering (Prohibition) Bill into law. Do you think this can arrest the situation of insecurity?

Yes, I believe it can arrest the situation if effectively implemented. But unfortunately, most times what we have is law on the papers. Law on the pages of papers are merely cosmetic letters that only become relevant if implemented.   The people do not pay attention to  law except there is deliberate effort to enforce it. In the light of terrorism, Boko Haram, are they ghosts? They are persons known to government,and the law is clear enough on the consequences of criminal involvement in terrorism.

But when terrorists escape deserved prosecution, then we reinforce their activities which constitute a huge national danger. We all know the status of the Police Headquarters, and the office of the Inspector General of Police, and the recent bombing of the office has shown us that the terrorists are not jokers – who may guess their next target of assignment, and while we ponder on their havoc-it was reported that they had already gone ahead to bomb Katsina killing a divisional crime officer(DCO), four police officers and a civilian just within one week.

Apart from the families that are affected, our collective responsibility is that our national image is involved. If you click on Nigeria on line by default or otherwise, it will shock you that we are now joining the league of terrorised regions. We need to counsel and plead strongly that professionals should be professionals rather than sit back or dose off in the privileges of office (while Nigeria is on the verge of a precipice) security agencies should stay awake in the exercise of mandatory professional duties. We should also note that politics has become a high yield venture in Nigeria so some profile politicians with their ill-gotten wealth can channel their resources to intimidate Nigerians to score political marks at the expense of our suffering.

What  signal  could  this be  sending to the populace  that after  signing the bill, terrorism don’t seem to  have abated?

The national situation is in itself a security threat given the level of unemployment, the epileptic power supply and economic hardship – the educational situation will all harmonise to make some Nigerians lose respect for harmonious living, knowing that while some of them are suffering so much (not by choice), some others are enjoying so much; they engage in some criminal activities to make a living… (There is always a ransom for kidnapping) – and this shows that these perpetrators want a share of “the goodies held by some select or elect few.”

“If success is common nobody will envy the other talkless of intimidating the other.” The disparity in the enjoyment of the national dividends of democracy is a cause for concern. And this problems can be fixed by the doctrine of sincere governance. We have also discovered that this national problems constitute good business for some.

For instance, those who prosper by offering alternatives to regular and reliable power supply in the nation while paralysing industrialisation, a key element in national development – should we not also mention those who collect and self-appropriate security votes that must continue to flow so much that insecurity is created to keep the votes flowing when the pivotal role models are questionable characters, what future has the youth who must look up to those who are ahead of them?”

Do you think  President Jonathan is doing enough to handle Boko Haram saga,other forms of terrorism and kidnapping  in our society?

Let President Jonathan be aware that some Nigerians perceive him as a very gentle president – and we strongly warn him to learn from the Obama/Osama Bin Laden episode. “Terrorists are no respecter of lives and property rather destroyers of same. Prevention is always better and cheaper than cure.” All the arms of government should arise and secure the nation or else we all shall find ourselves running helter-skelter for need of security. God has endowed us with all we need to live securely.

We may either neglect this endowment or maximise them. Security is a collective privilege and responsibility. “When there is no internal security, external security is threatened.”

“The government should not be bigger than the people rather they should be accountable to the people.”

I am advocating the emergence of the fourth arm of the government which is the people who will hold the three other arms accountable. In this category we the likes of Lamido Sanusi Lamido, who cried out about the bumper earnings in the National Assembly that resulted in changing the electoral landscape in that political environment as witnessed during the last April 2011 elections.

Then kudos to the government of President Goodluck Jonathan for signing Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill into law – which has given the media  and the general  public  access  to  relevant  information on national  governance.

What is  your assessment  of the media in the light  of the recent  episode?

The  Nigerian  media  deserves great  and resounding   applause.All the same,I thank God  for worthy representative, Abike Dabiri—who  with  limited  support swam against  the tide  to  deliver  the  dividend  of democracy… .

The privileges of  office  has  the potential  to dissociate the  government from  feeling  the pulse  of mass  suffering.”The angry man is  not  only an angry  man,he  has become  a very  dangerous  man.Those  who  are up  should be wise enough  to pull those who are  down up to  consolidate the  up”.


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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.