Recent reports that one of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s residences in Abuja was burgled by thieves may have stunned Nigerians and indeed the world. It is ridiculous to say the least how the home of as high a Nigerian political leader as a former president would be attacked by thieves and valuable household items removed. Until the occurrence, the affected property, House 89, Fourth Avenue in the Gwarimpa district of Abuja housed the Jonathan’s family before they finally moved to Aso villa when he became vice president under late president Umaru Musa Yarardua and later President and commander in Chief of the armed Forces. Even at that, family members like his mother still lived in the residence, expectedly well secured by officers and men of the Nigerian police and operatives of sundry law enforcement agencies before she also moved to join the first family as the State House.
The incident in all imagination states the obvious fact about increasing insecurity in the country which curiously has also relapsed into homes of wealthy Nigerians and top Political leaders like ex- President. DrGoodluck Jonathan. Who is safe and whose residence cannot be burgled becomes the question. But fresh as the incident, it will for some time make national conversation platforms because of the personality involved. Needless and unwarranted innuendos as well as politics will be fed and made out of it, lest it is so, we expect efforts to be deepened to dig deep into how it happened, unravel the perpetrators, their allies. Interestingly it is heartwarming that the police immediately swoop into action and so far arrested some suspects who themselves are police personnel.
This is atrocious and worrisome as the Police are still commended for been swift and profound in the investigation and exposure of the real culprits. We salute this courage and dexterity and urge them to replicate this attitude in all spheres of their job routines. The police must ensure safety of lives and property of the citizenry, this is their primary responsibility. But again we are at loss over why those responsible to secure the house of Dr Jonathan are themselves the thieves. Certainly this is shameful if proven that those deployed to beats as guards are in turn the thieves and hoodlums. And regrettably this ugly expose demonstrates that it is not impossible that most burglaries carried out in several homes guarded by policemen nationwide may have been carried out by them.
However coming against this backdrop, two quick lessons ought to be learnt, first and foremost it has been established that any home, even that of a Nigerian President can be breaking into and properties stolen. Two guards’ policemen can be willing accomplice. In dealing with this notwithstanding, we recommend that henceforth the police authorities must thoroughly scrutinize their personnel before they are sent to homes of dignitaries, particularly missions and residences of foreign envoys, ambassadors; lest we imagine the global disgrace it would have served Nigeria if it were the home or office of a diplomat here in the country; Tough Disciplinary action must be taken against all personnel involved; if necessary they should be paraded in full public glare alongside receivers or buyers of the stolen items. Again going forward, this serves as another food for thought for Nigerians who abandon their homes, like in the case of the Jonathans, no matter their new status thereafter, they ought not to have abandoned the Gwarimpa home because of the opulence they began to enjoy at the Villa and possibly a new abode that is much more luxurious than the Gwarimpa property when they left the state house.
The same applies to president Buhari, close watch of movement of persons and their activities at his Aso Drive Home must begin now, if not the same incident may occur. Though we salute the police for addressing this matter promptly, they must wake up to ensure safety of homes of ordinary Abuja residents and not only those of top Politicians and the rich. Imagine this happening elsewhere, the magnitude of burglary in the seat of power, Abuja, where the president, the national assembly members, the Ministers, IGP, service chiefs, security heads, diplomats and top politicians live, is not only overwhelming and very worrisome but left unchecked. Every security hand, therefore, must be on deck to stop this menace, if not who knows the next home?