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General News of Saturday, 11 June 2022


Insecurity: Nigerians now at criminals’ mercy - CSOs lament

Criminals file photo Criminals file photo

Civil society organisations have expressed worry over the increasing level of insecurity in the country, saying citizens were now at the mercy of criminals who kidnap, maim and kill them.

The CSOs who were reacting to the recent attack on members of a Catholic church in Owo, Ondo State, said the government must be proactive in the fight against terrorism and other forms of crime.

Over 40 people were reportedly killed in an attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owa-luwa Street, in Owo town, Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State.

Speaking in an interview with Saturday Punch on Thursday, the Chancellor of the International Society for Social Justice and Human Rights, Jackson Omenazu, said his organisation was deeply worried that the government was losing the battle against insecurity.

He said, “We are deeply worried that the country is not getting it right in terms of security of lives and property. We are really worried that a nation like this, with all the budgetary expenditure, cannot fight insecurity.

“We are deeply worried that our security agencies have not truly justified the budgetary allocations to their departments. We are deeply worried because Nigerians are fast losing hope in the government whose responsibility is to protect lives and properties.

“Nigerians are now at the mercy of criminals because even security operatives are no longer safe in their own houses. They can’t even guarantee you safety because they are thinking of how to protect themselves.

“The intelligence gathering mechanism of the security in this country is weak. The security agencies are not proactive; they are only reactive. Security should be proactive, not reactive.

“A group of criminals, just because a state governor warned them to be careful of how they carry out their activities in the state, and they went to that state, got into the church on a Sunday morning, and gunned down innocent worshippers, including children and till now, they have not been arrested.”

Explaining that the level of insecurity has also made farmers to stay away from their farm, Omenazu added that such a situation would amount to hunger.

“We can’t continue to pretend that all is well and the poor security system is having a toll on the people. Farmers can no longer go to farms because of insecurity. This is breeding hunger. Our highways are now very dangerous,” he said.

Adding his voice to the rising rate of kidnappings and killings, the Chairman, Rivers State Civil Society Organisations, Enefaa Georgewill, urged the Federal Government and security agencies to tame the menace and stop complaining.

He said, “Insecurity needs to be tamed. The law enforcement agencies and government whose duty it is to fight insecurity should fight it and stop complaining or telling us who is responsible for it.

“To fight insecurity, the government must build industries to employ our army of young people. Even these so-called extremists, they are hungry, rudderless and uneducated. They roam the streets, and so, they are easy recruits for ethnic and religious extremism.

“Government should build industries, build farms and go into agricultural extension services and engage our young people so that they will not be easy prey to those recruiting criminals. Government should also deploy technology to fight crime. This is the 21st century, and you cannot fight crime successfully without technology.”

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