Editor's note: In this piece, the chairman of the Federal Capital Territory chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Emmanuel Ogbeche has called on Nigerians to take their security seriously, especially with the incessant threat of attack by terrorists.
It beggars’ belief to find some Nigerians actually hoping that President Muhammadu Buhari and the Kaduna state governor, Nasir el-Rufai are kidnapped by terrorists that have threatened to do so.
It is crass as it is foolish. To even gloat at the thought is reprehensible. Because we are all impacted terribly by the perilous insecurity should not make us wish for such inanity.
It is fine to be angry but to put our very democracy in greater jeopardy and by extension our civil liberty is treasonous.
If, which won’t happen anyway, the terrorists were to have their evil wish, then the last straw of hope and resistance is broken and our very idea of democracy is finished.
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What we should wish for is for the Presidency to find a way out of this existential threat or better still for the indolent National Assembly to embark on one last redeeming act by asking the president to step aside on account of dereliction of duty.
While we wait like Godot for that to happen, we could take some practical steps to help ourselves.
First, citizens should strengthen their neighbourhood security or vigilante. Properly vet your security guards. Most of us rely on “Abokis” who in turn bring others we don’t know. Put a stop to that.
Better still, engage the services of security firms to deploy guards to your area. Know the DPO and show good faith so that patrol vans come around your neighbourhood each night.
Have a functional WhatsApp group. Being in a WhatsApp group with some people can be touchy. For once, leave your biases aside and tolerate people having your phone numbers. This is about common safety. You can have a secondary number for such purposes.
Car owners should install dashcams. Dashcams are helpful in picking images during a crime in a general area and can be lifesavers.
In a public place be alert, and reduce “phone pressing.” Today, the power of observation is near extinct. The majority of us are chatting away or doing something with our phones or mobile gadgets without as much care about being aware of what is happening around us.
To those who keep late nights, can you just cut down on it? If you have to keep clubbing or hanging out, look for one close to your place of residence. Driving late at night at a time such as this could spell trouble.
Do you have a contact you can quickly call and there will be a response? If you are not sure, get one.
Have torchlights, and very powerful blinding types in your car and at home. If you have pepper spray or cutlass in your handbag or car, are there handy to be used? If they are, don’t second guess when it comes to using any of them. Be swift, determined and intent when it is time to act.
The endgame of those who threaten us is to instil fear and weaken our common resolve to fight back, let’s not give in to their evil agenda. Together we will prevail.
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