by Barrister Kayode Oladimeji,
The primary responsibility of any government is to protect the lives and property of its citizens. No nation can develop in the state of insecurity and high level of crime. Any leader that cannot ensure the safety of his or her people has no business leading them. Although it is virtually impossible to completely stop crime, it can be reduced to the barest minimum. The advanced world has developed different strategies, measures and technology to gather intelligence to fight crime which has made it more difficult to commit crime and the long arms of the law not catch up with the perpetrators. Just as criminals are developing new and more sophisticated ways to commit crime, the developed and more serious countries are also devising methods to checkmate them.
One question that readily comes to mind is; are African countries particularly Nigeria towing the same path? Have our governments from the local, state and federal levels kept their pact with their citizens to protect them and their property when they took over the mantle of leadership? There is no day that passes without a report of a crime. The contentious issue is not whether a crime was committed or not but the ability of the security agencies to apprehend the criminals and bring them to book. What emboldens people to commit crime is the belief that they will never be caught. Seventy percent of crimes committed in Nigeria are never unraveled owing to the fact that we are still stuck with the old, outdated, archaic and conventional ways of tackling crime and intelligence gathering.
Crime fighting has gone beyond security personnel sitting behind open vans carrying guns and patrolling the streets waiting for criminals to commit crime so as to give them a hot chase in vehicles that lack the balance and performance which makes them very prone to accidents leading to loss of lives of security agents. Neither is it raiding neighborhoods after a crime has been perpetrated and arresting everyone on sight as suspects.
It seems one leader has realized that Nigerian leaders have to begin to think outside the box and emulate those developed nations on the best ways to tackle crime and ensure the responsibility of protecting the lives of their people and property is fulfilled. Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State has made history and boldly taken the step to protect his citizens and ensure that criminals have no hiding place in his state. An official trip took me on a journey to Kano State where I witnessed the first of its kind in this country. Closed Circuit Cameras otherwise known as CCTV being installed all over the state. Many Nigerians would say Lagos State has already done so.
That was my thought at first also but after an in-depth finding and information from reliable sources and the people from the state, i found out that the project goes beyond just installation of CCTV cameras but a complete security infrastructure with the provision of three hundred ford interceptors cars with bullet proof side panels to be complemented with police bikes and fully equipped with computers and synced with all the cameras. Three digit toll free numbers will also be provided to call when in distress and a monitoring center for all the cameras which will be manned by the Army, Police and the DSS. For those who do not know these kinds of cars. They are the types you see in those American movies. Oh yes! They are that sophisticated too and have the power to give any criminal a run for his money. One unique aspect of this project is the total maintenance of this infrastructure by the company engaged by the government for a period of eight years. No more excuses from the police on the unavailability of fuel in their vehicles to visit crime scenes and respond to distress calls because even the fueling of these vehicles will be taken care of by the company. This company will be working under the supervision of the Kano State Security Trust Fund, an agency established by law few years ago by the Kano State House of Assembly and headed by a very capable and passionate retired military officer to avoid politicization of this project for efficiency and sustainability.
At a time when this country is plagued with different forms of insecurity. From kidnappings and killings by herdsmen to pockets of violence by Boko haram and dare-devil armed robbery attacks, there is no better time for such a robust security plan and implementation in every state. Kano State is on its way to becoming the safest place to live and do business in Nigeria thereby attracting foreign investment which will drive up revenue generation and provide employment for our teeming unemployed youths. It is about time other governors began to think along this line to ensure the safety of their people. Kudos to Governor Ganduje for daring to think outside the box and making this “historic first”.
Barrister Kayode Oladimeji wrote in from Ibadan