IMO POLICE COMMAND/PRISON ATTACK: As Everybody's Business Trivializes Into Nobody's Business — By Ogo-Oluwa Adelakun - Penangle | News Portal in Nigeria
Tue. Jun 18th, 2024
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As important as security is, some say it is everybody’s business. Many agree with this school of thought because it takes collective efforts of the people and the security agencies to nip criminal activities in the the bud. It is widely perceived that the job is half done when the people don’t support those who are saddled with protecting Nigeria and Nigerians in the fight against insecurity.

One must acknowledge that issue of security has been a major conversation in Nigeria for at least ten years now due to the advent of terrorism and banditry in some parts of the country. On some days, the question is do we have the right number and kind of individuals in our security agencies to tackle the menace, on other days the debate is about the strained relations between the people and those we have trusted to protect us from harm dishing out the harm on day to day to Nigerians with impunity.

However, with yesterday’s attack on the Imo State Police Command and the release of about 2000 inmates  from correctional facility, at the fore of public conversation are questions surrounding the capacity of the Nigerian police to protect citizens in general. I mean, how are we supposed to sleep with two eyes closed if the police command of a state can be infiltrated by hoodlums succesfully for hours.

What is most worrisome yet comical, is that reports have revealed that the hoodlums had about 30 minutes to sing worship and solidarity songs  before going ahead to burn buildings and vehicles for at least 2 hours without any report of proper reactions from the police. To put things in proper perspective, one must recognize that this was a police headquarters of a state and not a roadside police station. How was this allowed to happen and what does this mean for the public confidence in the police for security in that state or maybe even in Nigeria?

Although police authorities seem to have a lead on the matter as they have accused the Eastern Security Network (ESN) and the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) for the criminal acts, one can only wonder if such groups should have an arsenal with ability to overpower a whole police command and a correctional facility when such places should be fortified with protection at all times.

Question are now being asked regarding the police investigation on the jailbreak that occured in Edo State during the #EndSARS protest in 2020 and if anything was learned from the findings of such, if criminals can just waltz into a police stronghold to do such damage and leave gleefully.

It is also noteworthy that in different quaters, a good number of Nigerians already opine that the police does not respond adequately to actual criminal acts with the same energy it uses to disperse unarmed protesters. With the reaction to yesterday’s destruction and jailbreak in imo state, do such views now carry any form of truth?
Or has monday’s event exposed the vulnerability of Nigeria’s security apparatus during festivities or in general?

It is true that when everyone takes the matter of security as they do their personal businesses it helps everyone. Another truth is that when something serious becomes everybody’s business it can easily get trivialized into being nobody’s business.

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