(By Iheanyi Ezinwo)-Nigeria is facing serious security challenges as never before and the citizens are no longer feeling safe. This was the observation of retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG, Felix Ogbaudu, while speaking at the Security Summit /National Executive Council meeting of Police Public Relations Committee, PCRC, Rivers State command in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
Ogbaudu, who served as Commissioner of Police in Rivers State between 2006 and 2008 under three administrations of Dr. Peter Odili, Sir Celestine Omehia and Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, traced the growing insecurity in Nigeria to emergent bad cultures. According to him, they include the culture of impunity. In the absence of deterrents, he argued, people do things and get away without sanctions.
Ogbaudu, who was chairman of the occasion, also identified the cultures disregard for moral values, corruption, intolerance, impatience and insincerity as well as the culture of putting square pegs in round holes, leading to incompetence as antecedent conditions that are threatening the security of lives and properties across Nigeria.
Other reasons why he said the security situation has become so bad in Nigeria included primitive acquisition of wealth, inequality before the law leading to discriminatory application of sanctions based on tribal and party affiliations; culture of violence, worthless titles, the philosophy of the end justifies the means; ostentatious lifestyle and flaunting of wealth as well as culture of cutting of corners. Retired AIG Ogbaudu, also listed the sit tight and pull him down syndromes, do or die politics , culture of promise and fail, and greed among others.
In his own presentation at the occasion, the Guest Speaker, Hon. OCJ Okocha, SAN, noted that, in the past, security matters were well handled, from recruitment to training, and then on to service in police force, and that all these translated into better management of security of lives and properties of the citizens.
Hon. Okocha, who spoke on “My Security, Our Lives: Rivers State in the past, Present and Future, however regretted that poor funding, inadequate manpower and equipment have conspired to limit the operational efficiency of the police in maintaining law and order in Rivers State and across Nigeria.
He advocated that the on going debate on state and other levels of policing should be given credence, while urging the National Assembly to appropriate more funds to enable the force improve the training of its personnel and also acquire equipment for enhanced service delivery.
In his welcome address, the chairman of PCRC in Rivers State, Chief Casca Ogosu, had welcomed all delegates from across Nigeria for the National Executive Council meeting of PCRC in Port Harcourt. “ Rivers State is not as you read in the media”, he said, adding that love prevails and that the state has a thriving night life, as some of the visitors had confirmed by themselves.
Chief Ogosu further explained that PCRC is working with other stakeholders to foster peace in the state, assuring that Rivers State is safe for all who wants to live or do business.
The occasion that was attended by the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, Zaki Ahmed, national chairman and chairmen of PCRC from across Nigeria, traditional rulers, security personnel and government officials also featured the presentation of awards to individuals for their support to the PCRC
in Rivers State.