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Security Of Lives And Properties As Everyone’s Paramount Duty: The Need For Ndi Abia To Be Vigilant

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Anokwuru Christian Uche emphasizes the collective responsibility of Ndi Abia in safeguarding lives and properties. Governor Alex Otti’s proactive measures have significantly improved security, but continued vigilance is essential.

 

By Anokwuru Christian Uche,Ph.D

 

Introduction

 

In recent times, insecurity has become a serious challenge to the Nigerian state, especially in some core Northern states of the country. This security threat has extended to the South East as a result of the activities of unknown gunmen.

 

There is no denying the fact that some parts of Imo state, for instance, have become battlegrounds between the security agents and unknown gunmen as they battle for the soul of the state, leading to the destruction of lives and properties to the collective detriment of the citizens, residents and investors alike.

 

There was an attempt to extend this ugly scenario to Abia State a few weeks ago following an unwarranted attack which led to the killing of some soldiers.

Governor Otti Visited Military Barracks In Aba, Signed Condolence Message Over A Killed Security Officer.
Governor Otti Visited Military Barracks In Aba, Signed Condolence Message Over A Killed Security Officer.

However, understanding that the security of lives and properties is one of the major concerns of a responsible government, His Excellency, Dr Alex Chioma Otti swung into action and the proactive security measures and interventions of his administration have quickly returned the security situation to normalcy in the security-affected area of the state contrary to the expectations of the perpetrators of such barbaric action. To further ensure peace and order, the military in their wisdom restrained from exercising military might as it is usually the case. Hence, the military deserves all the gratitude from us. They have shown character and maturity in this situation and this must be encouraged and sustained to save the lives of innocent citizens. Imagine what Aba would have become if the military had applied a repressive attack on Aba. This is the first miracle performed by Dr. Alex Otti just a week into his second year in office; it would not have been possible without the powerful intervention of God in his State. Truly, Aka Chineke di ya, malite na mbido Ochichia, ruo ugbua. This feat again, is a clear show of leadership expertise and sincerity and among other things, it is the reason Otti is enjoying the support of Ndi Abia and beyond.

 

This article is an effort to X-ray the sacredness of human lives and why efforts at the security of lives and properties should be everybody’s business since a threat to lives and properties is a threat to every member of the state and by extension the state itself.

 

For intellectual convenience and to savour the depth of this article, I have decided to break it into sections, highlighting different facets of the topic as this will promote a broader view and clear understanding.

 

  1. The Importance of Life

 

The famous author of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling once threw a general question thus: “We’re all human, aren’t we?” As a follow-up and in an attempt to underscore the importance of human life, she went further to say that “Every human life is worth the same and worth saving.” Of course, Rowling is right in my judgment. And I think my judgement would be the same with everyone like me who holds human life dear and considers it sacred.

 

Notwithstanding the disparities in cultures, it seems to be incontrovertible the world over that life is precious and deserves unwavering protection. We all strive to live long, healthy lives, working tirelessly to secure our livelihoods. It is tragic when these efforts are dashed into pieces by fellow human beings. Such actions are barbaric and brutish, reminiscent of Hobbes’ state of nature where man is a wolf to man. This behaviour is condemnable as it undermines the sanctity of human life.

 

  1. The Society as a Social Contract

 

In Hobbes’ account, it was the need to be free from the brutish, nasty, and solitary lifestyle in the state of nature that led to the formation of the civil society where the society is organized in such a way that the protection of lives and properties should be paramount, ensuring the happiness of its people.

 

According to the social contract doctrine, we agree to live harmoniously, building a society where human rights and dignity are upheld and respected. And it is only when this is done that peace and tranquillity can be achieved, hence leading to social prosperity for the collective good of all.

 

This explains why Cicero maintained that “A Commonwealth seeks concord or balance, in the same way, music requires harmony, and the only time concord can be achieved is when justice is the aim of the laws.” It is clear therefore from the view of Cicero that the state is for man and not man for the state. In other words, the affairs of the people which include but are not limited to the protection of lives and properties and good service delivery that would ensure the well-being of the people should be the ultimate concern of a true leader. For it is only when that is done that there will be harmony in the state.

 

Violations of the social contract, which guarantees fundamental human rights, often stem from greed, power drunkenness, poverty, irresponsible governance, inordinate ambitions, and other vices. These issues can be resolved if we recognize our duties to others, as Gabriel Marcel suggested. We must understand that we are made in the image of God, and the life we live is not ours to harm or terminate. Understanding life as irreplaceable and putting much value on it as such would make us ultimately resist any attempts to destroy or harm it.

 

  1. Collective Responsibility for Security

 

The value of human life and the premium placed on the dignity of human life places a burden of security on both the government and individuals. About the sacredness of human life, William .E. May opines that “prescinding from divine revelation—which not only corroborates truths that can be known without its help but also makes known truths that surpass human understanding—we can conclude that human beings, although truly

animals are animals radically different in kind and not merely in degree from other animals. They are so because they can do things that other animals cannot.”

 

Every government the world over is a creation of man and without the people, there can be no government. Hence, everyone living in a society forms the government, making security a collective responsibility.

 

Governments—national, state, and local—have the primary responsibility to structure societal security. Hence, military, police, and paramilitary organizations exist to safeguard the populace. However, these security forces cannot function effectively without sincere, vigilant, and proactive collaboration from the public.

 

  1. Non-Politicization of Security

 

The security of life and properties is so cardinal that it must not be politicized. One of the greatest instincts of man is the instinct for self-preservation. Hence, everyone aims for a long and happy life free from threats. Therefore, those entrusted with the task of security must take their responsibilities seriously, showing commitment, attention, dedication, and professional discipline.

 

To play politics with the security sector of any state or country is to play politics with the lives and properties of innocent citizens of such a country and by extension that country itself. This is because, invariably when the lives and properties of a given country are in danger, the development of such a country is threatened. There will be no tangible progress or development in a society where insecurity thrives.

 

From many indications, the recent security breakdown in Abia appears politically motivated to hinder Governor Alex Otti’s infrastructural development strides and dampen the spirits of those looking to come to Abia for serious business. This shouldn’t be in the first place. Politics should be constructive and not destructive. Even if everything else should be about politics, the security of lives and properties shouldn’t be one of them.

 

If as humans we allow rationality to come into play, with our conscience intact, fighting insecurity is a point where all the lines, horizontal, vertical or whatever, should meet. Despite our party affiliations, as humans with intelligence, we must always put the interest of our state and country first, over and above our party considerations. Rationality demands that politicians forget their differences when the issue of security and stability of the state is at stake because when the security of the state is in danger, everyone is adversely affected.

 

Security, law and order are fundamental requirements in any human society and should be considered too sacred to play politics with. Without justice which brings about peace and unity, the security of the state is threatened and progress becomes a mirage.

 

It is pertinent to note that disrupting Governor Alex Otti’s efforts at quality leadership delivery harms the state and its future generations and not him personally. We must therefore support him and collectively fight those distracting him with insecurity

 

  1. The Demands of Security

 

Security is such a demanding and expensive responsibility. Security personnel, like health practitioners, must discharge their duties with passion, compassion, and selflessness. This is because their job is more of a vocation than just a profession and it requires passion and total commitment.

 

The fundamental duty of every police officer and indeed every law enforcement official is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and properties; to protect the innocent against oppression or

intimidation; to protect the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the constitutional rights of all men to liberty, equality, and justice.

 

Sadly, the Nigerian law enforcement agents, especially the Police have not possessed the capacity to do their obligations in a way that the natives of the nation will acknowledge, recognize, and support. On the contrary, there have been several reports of arrogance, intimidation, extortion, extrajudicial killings, etc., which are morally wrong and against the oath of office of the profession which they swore to in good faith. Our security agents must do better to enjoy the support of the natives to ensure collective efforts towards solving security challenges in our communities.

 

 

  1. Government’s Role in Security

 

Elected or appointed officials must recognize that human life should not be used for political gains. Security is costly and must be prioritized in funding for state-of-the-art equipment and the welfare of security personnel. Salaries and allowances should be paid promptly to motivate and support those in the security vocation.

 

Diverting funds for security into private pockets is a dangerous way to encourage insecurity since security agents cannot fight criminal elements with bare hands or outdated arms. Financial resource management should be supported through the development of transparent and accountable procurement systems; the development of efficient auditing systems; and enhancing financial planning and management not only within government ministries but also within the management units of our security institutions in the country.

 

  1. Enhancing the Welfare of Security Personnel

 

It’s unfortunate that many security personnel are poorly remunerated and lack adequate insurance schemes. This must change. Governments at all levels must implement policies that prioritize the welfare of security personnel, who in turn should exhibit professionalism, vigilance, and adherence to ethical standards.

 

This brings to mind a story once told about China. The story has it that China, once surrounded by enemies, decided to build a brick wall around the country and when the country was done building the brick wall and convinced about its safety, the people relaxed and went about their businesses. Unfortunately, before they could know what was going on, the enemies of the country invaded the country many times without firing a shot. They were surprised and went into action to unveil the cause of the invasion. A thorough investigation revealed that the security guards were bribed by the enemies and they were allowed entry.

One of two things or both may have caused this unfortunate incident: either a case of lack of moral values on the side of the security guards lack of proper care and support for the security guards on the side of the country or both.

 

To avoid sabotaging and/or compromising the security of any nation, such a nation must take into significant consideration the welfare of its security personnel.

 

  1. Technological Support for Security

 

Today, advancements in technology have brought about various security-aiding devices such as body cameras, facial recognition software, license plate recognition, unmanned aerial vehicles, speech recognition, GPS tracking, gunshot detection systems, etc.

Governments should deploy these advanced technologies to aid security personnel in the state. These security-aiding devices should be installed at major exits and entrances to towns and villages, markets, hotels, hospitals, churches, and parks.

 

A policy should mandate homeowners to install CCTV cameras to augment the government’s efforts. This will ultimately facilitate easy tracking and elimination of criminal elements.

 

  1. Community Policing

 

Community policing is designed to reduce crime and disorder among members of the host community by fostering trust, respect, and collaboration between security officers and members of the community in reporting crime either violent or non-violent. Hence, locals should be encouraged to form vigilante groups to support conventional security forces. This is because people from a certain community know almost all the nooks and crannies of the community, including the members of the community and are in a better position to easily recognise the bad eggs in the community and even strangers coming into the community.

 

The community vigilante group should be seen everywhere in the community, whether village square, marketplace, beer parlours/bar joints or any other public places, and they should be trained to detect potential crimes from discussions between individuals and groups.

 

In Abia for example, the State Security Trust Fund can assist communities in paying local vigilantes, who should receive life insurance and other essential benefits that would make them discharge their security duties with a high level of passion and selflessness for the collective good of the community and by extension the state.

 

10 . Governor Alex Otti’s Commitment to Good Governance

 

Governor Otti has shown uncommon capacity to govern the state by prioritizing security. His formation of “Operation Crush” and its successes so far, such as reducing kidnapping, have demonstrated his intentions and capabilities. The Israeli ambassador’s declaration of Abia as safe for investors is a testament to his efforts.

 

As Abians yearning for “A New Abia,” we must see the security of the state as our collective responsibility to ensure the safety of lives and properties. It is only then that we can create a conducive environment for the actualization of our dream state where justice, peace, unity, and progress reign supreme.

 

11 The Need for Vigilance

 

The recent attack on soldiers during a celebratory period is a hard reminder for everyone to remain vigilant. Overconfidence must be avoided.

 

Without security, our state rescinds to the Hobbesian State of Nature where there was a war of all against all, leading to a chaotic environment where progress becomes impossible. Consequently, everyone must be on alert to protect the state against the traducers of the current administration and enemies of progress.

 

The Governor’s offer of a thirty million naira bounty for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the recent attacks which led to the killing of soldiers in the state demonstrates his commitment to ensure security in the state. We must show patriotism by exposing the culprits, honouring the fallen security personnel, and ensuring justice.

 

Hiding vital information that would help to bring perpetrators of crime to book makes one an enabler of crime which is detrimental to the actualization of our dream state. We must form a formidable front to fight crime and criminal elements in the state to make our state safe for citizens, residents, and investors.

 

Conclusion

 

Security is a collective responsibility. Everyone must be vigilant and proactive in safeguarding our communities. By working together and supporting our security forces, we can create a safe and prosperous Abia.

 

Let it be part of our culture to report  suspicious activities and ensure that security becomes a paramount duty for all in our effort to achieve “A New Abia” of our dreams.

 

Written by Anokwuru,C.U, Ph.D

Political Analyst and Social commentator.

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