Progressive Abia Youths Association (PAY), on Tuesday, October 5, paid a courtesy visit to the new Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Adeleke Adeyinka Bode, at his office at the Zone 9 headquarters Umuahia, to deliberate and proffer solutions to the rising insecurity in Abia State and the South East region.
Progressive Abia Youths Association is a registered civil society group, encouraging peace and progress in the State, and tinkering a more youth-inclusive society for development.
The delegation led by the president, Ekejiuba Kingsley Daberechi, frowned at the youth involvement in spear heading insecurity and other form of criminal activities in the south eastern region of the country.
In his address, the president described the current insecurity in Abia and the South East as unusual which according to him, made the Association to deliberate on how to engage the youth to beat insecurity.
He blamed the relationship decadence existing between the citizens and the police on the division caused by some unprofessional acts exhibited by some members of the Nigeria Police Force.
PAY called for a youth-police collaboration which will engage the youth on crime, and police relation sensitization to bridge the existing gap and ensure peace.
“ as a civil society group, we believe in the supremacy of dialogue and constant follow up. To this effect, we solicit for a Youth-Police dialogue (quarterly), that seeks to inform the youths on issues around insecurity and form a synergy that will guarantee results and engage the youths who are major stakeholders in our security architecture.”
Some of the solutions to insecurity according to PAY include;
-Partnering with the youth in creating security awareness
“a strong partnership should be initiated between the police and the community youth formations to create a synergy that works. It is only with collective efforts and inclusion that we will win the war against crime.”
-The police giving adequate attention to cases of abuse, molestation, etc
-Updating the citizens as investigations and prosecution proceeds in any given case
-Exhibition of professionalism by uniformed men both on the roads and in the office
-Localization and digitization of information gathering- the NPF can create a software Application for lodging of complaints or intelligence report which can also allow anonymity.
-Declaring fire arm amnesty.
On fire arm amnesty, Daberechi recalled attacks on police stations months ago where arms and ammunition were carted away by hoodlums who are now terrorizing the region. He expressed confidence that granting amnesty would encourage crime perpetrators to surrender their weapons and criminality will be reduced.
“Declare fire arms amnesty to reduce the number of guns in the streets. As consequence to the EndSARS protest and the attacks that ensued, we observed that there are a lot of fire arms in circulation. We believe that fire arm amnesty will help reduce the firearms in circulation and boost security.”
The AIG affirmed that the police cannot disassociate itself from Nigerian youths, however, the police would only work with responsible youths.
He blamed jungle justice on the judicial system of the country where cases are delayed unnecessarily. The AIG however noted that jungle justice can never be the real justice but court justice even with delays.
AIG Bode stressed that insecurity is fueled by individuals’ zeal to be like others not minding the glaring differences.
He charged the youths not to join the uneducated minds in perpetrating crime in the name of carrying out what they believe is justice.
The security expert stated that disagreement is not allowing Nigeria to mind her problems, adding that the country needs to up her game in security to fight bandits who are mainly flocking into Nigeria from neighboring Niger Republic and Chad.
Reacting to the issue of unknown gunmen in the south east, AIG Bode pointed that at the initial stage , the people were encouraging the hoodlums not knowing that they were feeding monsters who are now wrecking havoc affecting everyone. He said no gun man is unknown and the people to suffer the more are the most vulnerable which includes women and children.
He also affirmed that dialogue is a good approach, adding that there is lawlessness in Nigeria because the system have not been gotten right.
Making reference to EndSARS, Bode said the best approach is not to cancel a system but to make it better.
In his vote of thanks, PAY President, thanked the Zone 9 Umuahia AIG for his reception and revitalizing the hope of the youths.
High point of the visit was the AIG launching the PAY Extraordinary Convention on Effective and Sustainable Youth Development: A Panacea To Insecurity, slated to hold in January, 2022.