Security of Life and Property: The task before the State?

by Rev. Uche Dr. Obodoechina

In the last few months, we are all living witnesses to all kinds of news. All over the world we hear of one catastrophe or the other. The volume of conflicts, wars, violence, destruction of life and property and general insecurity are overwhelming. There seem to be no good news from anywhere.

It has been life with tears in Iraq, Ukraine, and Gaza Strip in the Middle East, Nigeria, and other parts of Africa. In sub-Sahara Africa it is about the killer disease Ebola and the deaths therefrom. The fears arising from the news of its spread, the Quarantine of suspected infected persons and the seemingly lack of known drugs for cure make the situation more turbulent.

In the Northern and north central parts of Nigeria it is about the Boko Haram and the futile efforts to Islamize Nigeria. The sporadic bomb explosions in cities and the suicide attacks here and there in the other states of the federation make life unbearable. In the west, it is about defeating sitting governors in elections.

In Rivers, it is about the clash of the Titans. The police commissioner of the state and the state government are flexing muscles of power and authority. In Enugu, it is about the impeachment of a deputy governor who has a poultry farm in his residence.

And the news of the collapse of the said deputy governor before the investigating panel at the entrance of the chief of staff and the state commissioner for justice and the Attorney general of the state, before the panel, is like a fairytale told by an idiot.

Again it is about kidnapping and killing of innocent citizens in Enugu and its environs. People are gripped in fears. Movements are restricted. Rumours of one attack or the other are in the air.

Even in the churches, life is no longer the same. People are disorientated. What is happening today among us? Where are we heading to? What does the state do when the life of the people is threatened? Yes, the state has an onerous duty of protecting the life and property of its members.

That is the justification for the structures of power of the state, the apparatai of defences, the skills and competencies of security outfits at the command of the state, the infrastructures and channels of defence, the legal systems and the directorates of public prosecutions and the entire gamut of justice and peace structures in the state.

All these are designed to ensure the safety of the citizens. In fact, any state that does not pay due attention to the overall security well-being of its members does not deserve to exist. It is wonderful that some state governors in the south-east have done something meaningful in the area of security.

It is also shameful that some others have paid deaf ear to the crucial issues of security of life and property of their people. We pray such chief security agents of their states to brace up with the challenges of their responsibilities.

In the light of the escalating situations of insecurity around us, all hands must be on deck. It is no longer enough to wait for the moribund government or the security agents and officials of the state.

Sometimes they are overburdened with several security challenges arising from poor security arsenals, skills and competencies in the midst of modern sophisticated weapons and expertise of operations among the hoodlums wreaking havoc in the society.

Men and women of good will are called to rise up to the challenges of ensuring adequate protection of life and property in our society. Rural vigilante groups, Neighbourhood watches, community police services, and individual vigilances are today required, more than ever before to assuage the rising tide of insecurity causalities and mayhem in our society today. Tomorrow might be too late!

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