From my PERSONAL OPINION, the best thing the Governor should do now, is to deploy every Social tactics to win the people over to the side of the Government, both Patriotic and Unpatriotic Citizens.
Before I take you on this long walk through what I feel is the shortest route to restore sanity, serenity and sanctity back to our state, let us first understand the very dimensions this crises in the state is about to take.
- There is the “Unknown Gunmen” that opened the prison gate for over 1,800 inmates who the officials have failed to make public and circulate their identities up until this moment. At least, 800 of those outlaws will go back to crime and open numerous Banditry Franchise in the state.
- By the above, we do not only have the “Unknown Gunmen” to deal with, we have a chunk of conventional and unconventional Criminals, Armed Robbers, Assassins and Kidnappers hiding or will hide under the “Unknown Gunmen” alias to carry out more crimes.
- At this point, the Gunmen have not started robbing banks, they are not kidnapping and Killing Politicians, we must make sure it does not get to that point.
- If we don’t toll the path of peace through Consultations and, or Conflict Resolution now, we must brace up to have a very long range of time to live in fears and apprehension, which will further plunge the State and the Citizens into extreme economic setback and destruction of lives and Properties.
- If we fail to Return peace back to the state at this point, we will no longer be able to return to the Peaceful and serene state we use to have; and be rest assured that no matter how long the Military parades in our streets, these attacks will continue to happen intermittently. Remember, this is Nigeria.
For normalcy to return to Imo soonest, we must PURSUE, OVERTAKE and RECOVER PEACE. There are two separate entities to engage, one in the open, the other in the secret.
- The Patriots (The positive side of the Society) and
- The Conservatives (The Shadow side of the Society)
Every Society is made up of two sides, which are the above individuals. When you want to catch a monkey, you have to sometimes behave like a monkey.
Someone asked: “What can we do”?
Well, the question now should be “what should the Governor of Imo State and in extension South East Governors do immediately to make sure there are no further killings of either innocent Citizens, Security Officials, Known and “Unknown Gunmen”going forward.”
Let us first understand that whether “Unknown Gunmen” or Military/ Police inversion, they are all products of insecurity causing civil unrest, claiming lives on a daily basis, and everyone is affected and no one is safe. At least, no fewer than 2 persons are murdered in Imo State every other day. And no fewer than 10 persons are murdered in the South East every other day.
Security of lives and properties requires tact, it requires open and secrete consultations, it requires resolutions, it requires inclusiveness, and above all, it requires emotional intelligence and Human Psychology. It is not easy to manage human beings.
Security of lives and Properties is not just about the acquisition of Military gadgets and rolling out War Tanks. It involves the art and the act of maintaining Social and relative peace amongst members of the Society.
Nigeria as a country with huge Military might have continued to roll out tanks on Bokoharam for more than 10 years now, yet, the defeat of Bokoharam and other Bandits is not feasible.
In 1999, the Obasanjo’s regime massacred an entire Community in Beyelsa state (The Odi Community) over insecurity, more than 2,500 people were killed, it did not stop Militancy until Late President Yar’adua came with his Intelligence and did the talk, the walk and the work.
Between 2003 and 2006, Dr. Achike Udenwa’s Government ordered the killing of many MASSOB members anywhere sighted, many were killed and it didn’t change anything, the agitation today has grown into another level that is completely out of control.
In June 2006, Nigerian soldiers numbering over 200 were allegedly invited into Anambra State by Governor Peter Obi, and in the process they allegedly murdered an estimated 2000 innocent Igbos in the guise of rooting out MASSOB agitators. But it didn’t solve anything till date.
There is a difference between fighting a gang of Criminals, a gang of Kidnappers, a group of Militants, a rebel Army and a separatist volunteers Army living amongst more than 70% aggrieved members of your subjects between 17 years and 35 years old age who are very angry and showing it in different ways and angles.
There is a foundation to every insurgency, Militancy, banditry franchise and general insecurity in every Society, you must identify it first before you can solve it, otherwise, it will continue to be a conventional spot you will have to revisit from time to time until it becomes a tradition.
Believe it or not, if you remove law, humanity, christianity and proper upbringing from most youths in Nigeria now, 80% will pick up arms against all the failed Political leaders and their Militia men in uniforms.
A few days ago, it was alleged that an Airforce Military checkpoint was attacked in Owerri, and at least one soldier was killed. This infuriated the entire Security Architecture in the state and they went on rampage shootings at Naze, innocent people were killed, some whisked away and cars destroyed.
If after all that has been done, including beefing up Security in the state, this guys are still finding their ways into the capital city and killing Security men, then these attacks are far from being over in the longest range of time.
It is time to consult and involve members of the civil society.
It is now very obvious that the Police and the Army cannot do this thing alone in the shortest range of time, because they lack proper connection with the people, they lack quality communication, information and Intelligence report from the members of civil society to tackle the situation right from its very foundation and timely.
Therefore, at this point, there is an urgent need for the Governor to engage the stakeholders of the state from all works of life:
From the Traditional Rulers, to the Community President Generals, Community Youth leaders, Community women leaders, Political Leaders across boards, Religious Leaders of all denominations, Hunters Association Imo State Chapter, Farmers organisation, Civil Servants, Business Owners in the State, Student Union leaders of all the Tertiary Institutions in the state, and youth leaders of different Organisations within the state for a conversation with the SEC/ SSC and all security architecture in the state.
With what the situation has given, the Governor must also consider doing the “Extremely Extraordinary” in re-apprehending the fleeing inmates and and gathering raw Information from unwilling whistle blowers.
This is where whoever that is in charge of special duties in this Government (If a Younger Man, fine) with the SSA Youth Affairs Eric Uwakwe must be Mobilized to do the “Shadow Walks” in the state with his own team, without interference. He is Street Credible and knows exactly what to do, the shadows to consult and discuss with, both the Shadows in active service and retired.
Those who escaped from Prisons and those carrying guns today are between the ages of 17 and 39, they are youths under his office as the SSA Youth Affairs.
There is no emergency Gunman anywhere, those who are courageous enough to pick up arms whether for the Government or against the Government are made in the Bushes and Streets. As you have your Barracks and Stations in the City, there are barracks and stations in the streets too. As you have your DPOs and DOCs, the streets have same authorities by jungle way, including “Old Soldiers” who are filling with crook Street Intelligence.
Anyone who escaped from the high walls is going back to the streets where there is a life for him.
That’s why the Street know more than the governor have on his desk as Chief Security officer of the state. The Street have the information you seek, the Street have the contact too long to fetch any information at all, but the Street will only sing with Shadows who understand the rules and the language of the Streets. Meanwhile, every useful Security Information comes from the Streets.
Every Society have that set of people who run their own governments in the streets of every existing legitimate Government. Just as inside every Prison, there is leadership for the Warders and there is leadership for the prisoners.
Let’s stop playing daft on the blood and lives of innocent people and also tackle this insecurity from that very part of the Society we are too careful to admit its existence.
The Governor must at this point cease showing weakness by hiding behind the Military and Police men, he must come out as the Father of the State and face the people, look them in the eyes, take responsibility and show empathy.
He must use that medium to re-inform his subjects that they are stakeholders of the state; he must charge them to go home and speak to their wards, and reassure them of their safety and anonymity in communicating what they know about the ESCAPEES to the Government, while fostering urbanized invincible vigilance in their various communities, and also be able to communicate.
The entire Security situation will be on the Governor and the imported Machineries if he fails to involve the necessary people, and reassure members of the public of their safety while getting involved in solving this Security situation in the state through Consultations and, or Conflict Resolution.
No one want the obvious and glaring victimisation of the Police, and no one want the visitation of the “Unknown Gunmen.”
At this point, it is only the parents, friends, siblings and STREET SHADOWS of these Gunmen that can get them to drop their guns, and only their enemies will give them out to the Government.
I don’t even think they would want any interface with the state actors.
If this conversation doesn’t take place, those with the right information will never open up, lest the complainant turns to accused or the victim. You must bring the people closer to form a synergy with the Government, give them sense of belonging and reassure them of your commitment to a better living and better Society.
It is time to do the right thing or risk having more innocent bloods in your hands while the Security situation continues to deteriorate and economic activities strangled in the state.
It is no longer time to wear white caftan, red cap and sun glasses, this is the time to put on your jungle boots and coverall dress to do the talk, the walk and the work.
When the Governor does the right thing, we must all join hands to restore peace in our land. The buck ends at his desk.
This is my PERSONAL OPINION, you have a right to yours.
Written by Awurum Darlington