Security of Life and Property: The task before us!

by Rev. Uche Dr. Obodoechina

At the passage of each day, with its events and activities, it is gradually becoming obvious that security of life and property in our land is a duty of every citizen. However, it is the primary responsibility of government anywhere in the world to ensure the safety of its citizens against any form of aggression. Yes, it is about the greatest assignment of any government to its people.

Otherwise what would other services of government to the people mean in the absence of life? Yet our government in this country at all levels of its operation are paying lip service to the issues of security of life and property. It is on record, that each executive of the three tier of government is entitled to a huge sum of money at the end of every month for his or her own security and that of the people, besides the specific state budget allocation for security. One wonders what happens to these funds in the light of incessant breakdown in security of life and property among our people.

In our immediate environment, the inhuman attack and the death there from of innocent and unsuspecting villagers of Nimbo in Uzo Uwani Local government area of Enugu state Nigeria at the wee hour of Monday 25th April 2016 in the hands of some Fulani herdsmen is gruesome and beyond description. It is unbelievable yet true that a whole town and its people were robbed and some killed while a good number were internally displaced.

In fact, it is amazing how in a couple of hours, a whole town was made a ghost of itself. The shock of this attack is still evident among the people as a good number have refused to go back to their houses as a result of fears. In the light of this situation, a thousand and one humanitarian needs abound.

For the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) who have lost everything-relatives, houses and other valuable properties, how would the little surviving members of some of these families be able to cope with the agonizing situation? What will be their overall attitude to a failed government that does not protect their basic right to life and property and that of their kit and kin?

It stands to reason that nature abhors vacuum. In the same way, since the government of the day does not pay sufficient attention to the security needs of the people, individuals as well as groups of different types and sizes are enjoined to begin to do for themselves what they can to ensure their own security of life and property. This does not mean taking the laws into ones hands. Neither does it mean taking up arms to kill and destroy life in the name of protecting one's own rights.

It is rather a recognition of the fact that every citizen is a subject of rights. Human persons are ends in themselves and never means. Protecting of one's right to life and property presupposes an awareness of the rights of others to do the same within the legitimate limits of the law. There is no one single life of any citizen that is more superior to another. We are all equal as sons and daughters before a loving father.

Of grave significance in matters of security of life and property is vigilance. Eternal vigilance, they say, is the price of liberty. Vigilance in this context means that we must all be awake in matters of security. We must be conscious of our environment. Indifference is the greatest enemy to security. People who do not care about the goings-on around them end up as victims.

Being awake means getting involved in observing what goes on around us and asking the relevant questions. It implies also reporting strange events and persons to relevant security outfits. It is not an attempt to delimit the rights of others, rather it is one that enhances the common good of all. Let it be underscored that no society anywhere grows and prospers in the state of insecurity and chaos. Security of life and property is therefore the primary value of all development and remains the end to which every authentic development aspires.

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