By Sunny Ikhioya
THE stir caused by the killing of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi embassy in Turkey is yet to settle down, over a month after the crime was committed. Turkey has used the opportunity to put severe pressure on Saudi Arabia, as they stand at opposite ends of the divide in the matter concerning Qatar. We have also heard or read comments from several quarters, but, what lessons have we deduced from the whole incident?
It is indeed clear that the world has now become a global village and things assumed to be done in secret are no secret anymore. It is increasingly clear that, if proven, killing with impunity will be very difficult to condone, whether it is done by an individual or a State. It is equally clear that such an incident can threaten the existence of a State or government as it is presently happening to Saudi Arabia.
But beyond this, what lessons for Nigerians? Would you have imagined that the world will react to the killing of an individual like this, not by an individual but a State sponsored killing? It shows the value the developed or civilised world has placed on human lives as opposed to the situation in Nigeria.
We have collectively lost our conscience. Human lives mean nothing to anybody, from the brutal terrorists to kidnappers, producers of fake drugs and wines, government agents whose actions, whether by omission or commission cause needless deaths of human beings. That is how low we have sunk. If life means nothing to us as a people, then we are now in the animal category. In fact, we are no more superior to them, because animals will stand up for their own if anyone is attacked. We have seen this a lot in the wild life series and documentaries. If we want to move on like other responsible nations, we must begin to hold dear the sanctity of human lives. Any form of killing must be condemned and action quickly taken to bring the culprit to book.
The way the General Alkali’s killers were fished out, investigated and promptly charged to court shows that we have the capabilities to bring criminals to justice, the only problem is the lack of will and determination of those in charge of our law enforcement.
Another revelation that came out of Jamal Kashoggi’s killing is the role of technology in crime detection and investigation. It has shown to us that, if we do not prioritise the upgrade of our equipment for crime detection, there is no way we can win the war against terrorism and insurgency.
Nations now rely more on technology and we are here dealing with old models. The CCTV camera captured the movement of the journalist as he went into the embassy until he disappeared inside, they never recorded his coming out. If you will recall, but not for CCTV cameras installed in some of those banks, those responsible for the famous Offa robbery incident would have been difficult to fish out.
All efforts must now be put in motion by the appropriate authorities to start working on our equipment upgrade. There should be a research and development section in our military, with first class brains recruited to find solutions to problems. We must be self reliant in this area so that bigger nations do not take us for granted. We cannot over emphasise the importance of security cameras in crime detection and control. If cameras are placed in strategic places, all over the country, it will be easy to record crime scenes. We can even extend it to the jungle, especially those routes used by terrorists and smugglers. We have cameras that can withstand the harshest of weather, even under water for many years.
Our officials must go for it, it is not rocket science. When the Nigerian Breweries organised the Gulder Ultimate search such cameras are used in their jungle scenes. The Nigerian military can adopt the same technique. We do not have to concentrate them in one place but, to spread them far and wide, especially in known routes. Once a culprit is identified, the solution to the crime causation is half solved, the next is to apprehend the culprit and bring him to justice.
We have to build up on our intelligence gathering ability. Without information, there is no way we can get criminals to justice, so, our various intelligence units must be beefed up, with up to date trainings and equipments. If we are not arresting the perpetrators of serious crimes, we are equally encouraging potential criminals to come on board and this only tends to escalate the situation as we have now in Nigeria. It is therefore very important that our intelligence gathering technique be upgraded.
If Turkey is a country that has not taken its security seriously, no one would have heard about the killing of Kashoggi and this kind of incident inspires confidence in the people, in the ability of their law enforcement agencies to check criminal tendencies. There is no feeling as satisfying as a strong sense of security, knowing that as you go to bed or walk the streets, you are safe.
A lot of people in this country sleep with one eye closed, some do not even close their eyes at all. When you live in fear such as this, your level of productivity drops, which inevitably leads to low level of creativity, as creativity thrives better in a tranquil environment. A great percentage of people living in Nigeria now live in fear and this is not good for a nation that wants to move forward progressively. Our enforcement agencies must have the ability to bring criminals or killers to justice, no matter their position in society, decisive justice that will serve as deterrence to others with intentions to commit further crimes.