A retired Commissioner of Police, Emmanuel Ojukwu, served as the police image maker at the Force headquarters, Abuja, under five Inspectors-General of Police. He is presently a Law Enforcement Analyst, Psychologist, PR Practitioner, and Motivational Speaker. He tells Isioma Madike in this telephone interview that the festering insecurity in Nigeria has become an embarrass ment. Excerpts…
How would you evaluate the general insecurity in Nigeria presently?
Well, my take on that is that the insecurity as we have it now in the country is grave; it permeates all regions: the North-east, North-west, North central, South-east, South-south and Southwest, it’s all over. It is taking lives, threatening lives, and it’s hurting the economy, hurting the people, and putting everyone and everything under siege. It’s really an embarrassment to this nation but I know of a truth that a lot of work is being done to arrest it squarely.
If you are in a position to advise those in charge of the security apparatus right now, what would you be telling them?
One is to scan the problem to know the genesis, and the root cause of all these. Two will be to think outside the box and aggregate ideas from persons within the service and outside the service and to seek help on how to address the problem. Third is to confront the matter head-on and to partner with all agencies responsible for security in the land; to collaborate. This is not the time for self-pride; it’s time for serious collaboration and cooperation among sister security agencies. They all need to put their heads together because two heads, they say, are better than one. And to carry the Nigerian people along in all they are doing so that they can garner enough public support and for Nigerians to expose these kidnappers wherever they are hiding and to pass the information properly and appropriately to the right quarters.
From your perspective, would you say that the agencies are presently having this robust collaboration and cooperation?
Well, these are new security chiefs and I sincerely do believe that they are cooperating and working hard together. The recent happening in Maiduguri is a pointer to such collaboration. I do believe they are working together, synergizing, meeting with the National Security Adviser (NSA) and the President and getting direct orders. They know that Nigerians are looking up to them and that their failure will be an embarrassment to their services and to the nation as a whole. So, they are bound to work together to succeed, and they are working together.
Would there be any need for similar collaboration with other countries with comparable experiences?
Yes, we live in a common world in which what affects one part of the world, affects the other. COVID, for instance, came from China and affected all parts of the world, just like Ebola and other things that the world shares in common. So, the world or global community should help to fight global terrorism and insurgency because they have their nationals everywhere and doing businesses with Nigeria, and if Nigeria fails, they too are likely to fail. It is incumbent on key operators to extend a hand of fellowship to friendly nations. I said friendly because some countries are not friendly in this regard and should be avoided as well. The country should get as much help as it can get because we as Nigerians have had to also help other countries when they were in trouble too. So, getting help from the outside is not a taboo.