By Egbara Emmanuel
We have a lot of people with better ideas in cross river state , but the problem is how to translate our great ideas into practice for the betterment of our state.
It is apparent that since the coming on board of Benedict AYADE administration in Cross river state, his government has demonstrated in no small measure, genuine concern for the need of a state security.
Cross river Government has carried out a substantial support of personnel of the Nigeria police. Since Duke era up till now.
The Government has consistently increased capital budget of the police yet, Nigeria police has not reciprocated the gesture by showing commitment to duty.
The investment in the police in recent times by the state government has not been justified by the police, and it has shown that the cankerworm of corruption in the police would need more than security trust fund and the acquisition of armoured personnel carrier to curb.
It is one thing to spend, but it is another thing for that spending to be efficient and to have a real impact on the security situation in the state.
Those who control the cross river state security trust fund must be told in plain language that the tax payers money in cross river state can no longer afford to pay for the acquisition of Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) which functions is just to carry armed men only.
It cannot be used to quell any riot, it cannot be used to combat armed robbery attack because it has no fire power of any kind.
Even it can not fire a tear gas. It is just like
ordinary truck, the difference is being a bullet proof vehicle.
The tyre could easily be deflated when faced with a hail of rifle bullets. Who is fooling whom?
Cross river state government needs first and foremost to lay a solid foundation by making correct choices of actions on how to combat this wanton destruction of lives and properties by armed robbers, act of criminality by hoodlums in the state, because public confidence in the police has waned since most of the police officers belong to a class which may be defined not as criminally insane but as insanely criminal.
They rank so low in the estimation of the public. There are accusations of consistent and unfavourable disposition of the police to the public whenever cases are reported.
In most cases, complainants are requested to fund investigation, the costs which are well beyond the capacity of average Cross riverians.
The increase in the rate of crime across the state was due to the deliberate failure and wilful defiance of police commissioner to listen to various suggestions being forwarded to him by the public.
The incessant clashes involving street urchins called skolombo boys, cultists, gangsters in Cross river state urgently needs government attention and solution.
Their criminal activity has continued to endanger the lives of innocent Cross riverians.
The present dimension seems to have gone beyond control, as they take law into their hands, killing and maiming innocent people, burning and looting of property without restraint.
They have also held the state to ransom for too long and they go about their devilish mission unhindered, while police hide under investigation to arrest innocent individuals and extort money from them.
This nonsense is
nearly on daily basis.
Some Cross riverians have been advocating for a state-controlled security as a solution to the menace but owing to better and wider outlook, I am a strong advocate of a federally controlled police.
But thank God you have established the state security outfit but it will take courage to make it work base on the forces of opposition and the ill attitude of the Nigeria police.
I state here categorically that the solution does not lie in the establishment of state security outfit
What we need presently is reform and work your way to the heart of those in charge to accept the green police or take charge to be in control.
No state in Nigeria that does not have a state own security outfit but your own was publicly rejected because you did not belong to their caucus of evil.
For instance Scolombo would have gotten rid off (area boys) but because of some political links it will be a hard fight.
State governments can also do something as an experiment to mitigate the significant violent crime so as to convince Cross riverians that creation of state security is absolutely necessary if they are sincere and also have the political will to reduce the crime rate in their respective areas, otherwise to make state security work would be to subscribe to a curious illogical viewpoint as being articulated by few people because, if the idea is accepted it would appear that interest of few aggregate the interest of the many.
Have we forgotten the experiences of the first and second republics as a result of different models of policing?
We should by now have understood that both systems are susceptible to vices of power.
I recall the case of a state where the residents were living in fearful apprehension, and that fear turned to terror when their governor who during his tenure published a book in which he argued forcefully in support of state-controlled police, few years later, the terror was replaced with shock amazement when the governor became a minister, and the same ex-governor became an advocate of federally controlled police.
A point to note is that, policing the society is not something to be left to any single agency no matter how formidable.
Effectiveness is a function of the quality of interpersonal relationship between the law enforcement agencies and the residents of a community.
In a true community policing the heart of identifying and solving problems is the involvement of individuals.
Almost all the police formations that claim to be doing community policing are actually operating in the a traditional modular with community policing as a minor add on.
In order to reduce these violent crimes, i.e. armed robbery, and other significant violent crimes in the state almost to the point of none existence, Cross river state government should create an outfit, with no uniform and also unarmed organization being an intelligence and criminal information gathering institution.
This is necessary for now, since people no longer trust the police in term of confidentiality regarding the information on criminal activities in the state.
We should know that the basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.
The ability of the police to perform these functions is dependent upon public approval of police action which is lacking here in Cross river.
The outfit mission statements should be to prevent, detect, and protect cross river state against terrorist, armed robbery and other significant violent crimes and other security threat and enforce the criminal laws of Cross river state .
Their priority should be, in the course of their duties, to provide and use intelligence to protect the residents against violent crimes and bring those who violate the law to justice.
Their main priority should be based on prevention and detection of armed robbery and other significant violent crimes or any threat to the security of the residents.
The management of the outfits should be centralised in order to ensure consistency and strategy across the local government areas and also to improve co-ordination with other security agencies and government.
They should choose their investigation carefully so as not to duplicate the jobs of the police force. They should concentrate their efforts on those criminal enterprises
violent gangs that pose a significant threat to our society.
They should also implement a comprehensive plan that fundamentally transforms the organization to enhance their ability to
and prevent significant crime or any act of terrorism.
We should note that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.
Any armed robbery lead or other related crime must be addressed and these should be their overriding priority.
They should have an intelligence section within the investigative services divisions and staffed with analysts whose task is to identify and predict criminal threats.
Apart from regular staff, they should also recruit thousands of agents across the local government whose main duty is to supply information of any significant threat within their areas.
The job should not be a paid job but a voluntary service that imposes civic responsibilities and duties and which requires absolute integrity, and dedication.
A crime free status is essential for continuous membership of the agents and the agents should also know that being an agent would not confer on him/her a covering to perpetrate criminal activities of any form and their liability for any crime is not mitigated by membership as agent.
The administrative bureaucracy should be more efficient and more responsive to operational needs.
It should focus their recruiting and hiring to attract individuals with skill critical to their anti-crime and intelligence mission.
Their administration should develop a more comprehensive security education training program both to their staff and Agents and instituted initiatives to keep their work flexible
Information communication technology should also be in place for storage and management of criminal records.
For security reasons, I don’t want to explain further about the mode of their operations and strategy on social media.
We cannot achieve the goal without strong co-operation of other security agencies. The outfit would have to enhance the level of co-ordination and information sharing with other security agencies by offering information and support by working together on task forces and joint operations.
Why Nigeria police fail in their duties is, apart from corruption that appears to be ingrained in all its officers and men, is that they also fail to maintain cordial relationship with the public that confirm the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interest of community welfare and existence.