The responsibility of maintaining peace and order in the country is first and foremost a constitutional duty of the Federal Government. In particular, the Nigeria Police Force is primarily vested with the power to enforce peace and order. It is the duty of security agents to ensure that citizens sleep with their two eyes closed. But whether the men and officers of the Force are living up to expectation remains a subject of public debate in Nigeria.
Undoubtedly, in many parts of the country, citizens do not sleep with their two eyes closed. While one is closed, the other keeps vigil against criminal elements. Daily reports about crimes in the country testify to this repulsive fact. People are being killed by terrorists almost on a daily basis while criminal elements are making life unbearable for citizens in some parts of the country.
One of the most recent nauseating examples of state of insecurity is the worrisome report about Elerinko estate in Ijoko-Ota, Ado-Odo/ Ota Local Government area of Ogun State. According to reports, men of the underworld had sent advanced notice that they would visit the community unstoppably with death and barbarity. They therefore demanded that the people of the area, for the safety of their lives, keep money in their houses, awaiting when they would strike.
It was suspected that the criminal elements pasted the letters on buildings, electric poles, public structures and other strategic points at the wee hours of the day. Since then, trepidation has ceased the hearts of residents of the estate and entire community of Ado-Odo/Ota.
An observably edgy resident of the area was quoted as saying that, “As we woke up, we saw
the letters pasted all over the estate asking us to prepare for them that they are coming.” This controversial development took place last week.
Nothing can be more odious to a nation’s security sensibilities than this kind of brazen and impudent act whereby bunch of arm-wielding criminals issue out threats to citizens as though the country has no Police Force. It is interesting too that the police authorities have acknowledged this sordid development.
Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, confirmed that the state’s Police Command was aware of the robbers’ threat and has taken measures to arrest the situation. “We have put in place adequate security in the area. I got the information from someone; I did not see the letter. The CP (Police Commissioner) has acted on it. The DPO of Ota, CSP Gabriel Idibie has been parading the area”, he stated.
Do we really need to remind the police authorities that the increasing rate of crimes in the country should give them severe concern and propel them to prompt action? Apart from the already benumbing bloody campaign by terrorists and insurgents in the North-Eastern part of the country, it is rather embarrassing and unacceptable that many innocent Nigerians live in fear, terrorized by criminal elements such as armed robbers.
This must stop. The police authorities must act beyond verbal commitment by securing, not just the people and residents of Ogun State, but the entire nation. We also urge the Federal Government to provide relevant support to security agencies to effectively enhance their statutory job of enforcing and maintaining peace and order throughout the country.