Internal security: Ringim calls for paradigm shift

Oct 14, 2010

Acting Inspector-General of Police, Hafiz Abubakar Ringim, has said that owing to the sophistication in the commission of crime and variations in the modus-operandi often adopted by criminals in their dastardly acts, new methodologies, strategies and approaches have to be adopted to stay ahead of them.

Delivering the keynote address yesterday at the 1st Annual International Conference on Security organised by Babcock University Consulting Services in conjunction with the School of Law and Security  Studies, Babcock University, he recalled that in the past, criminals employed simple burglary tools to gain access into buildings and receptacles; but nowadays, they employ explosives like dynamites and RPG’s to break into fortified areas.

“Any futuristic internal security plan for Nigeria must involve a paradigm shift not only in terms of methodologies and strategies, but also the acquisition of modern day accoutrement, tools and other paraphernalia of office to cope with the sophistication in crime,” Ringim declared.

He gave the examples of use of Armoured Personnel Carriers, APCs, helicopters, surveillance cameras (in London alone there are over 3,600 security cameras in use), gun boats, modern forensic laboratories, crime data base, and crime intelligence.

The presentation whose theme was “Security Management in the 21st Century” was delivered on behalf of the Inspector General of Police by CP Marvel Akpoyibo, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, represented by Mr. Vincent Brown, Asst. Commissioner of Police, Lagos State.

He acknowledged that internal security and peace have always posed tough challenges, pointing out that, “in recent history, Nigeria has had to deal with such issues outside the civil war as various religious upheavals that occurred mainly in the North and the aftermath reprisal in some places in the south and other instances of  instability.”

Instances were mentioned from available police records like Aba women riot in 1929, Tiv riot in 1964, Western Nigeria crises in 1965, Ali-Must-go students’ riot in 1978.

Others are Maitatsine riots of 1980 to 1985 which spilled over to Kano, Kaduna and Maiduguri in 1982, Yola in 1984. Gombe in 1985.

“The disturbances resulted in the death of 4,177 people in Kano, 53 people in Kaduna, 118, people in Maiduguri, 568 people in Yola, 105 people in Gombe in addition to the numerous destruction of property worth several millions of naira.”

There was also eruption of crisis in the 1990s in Katsina when Shi’te Muslim sect, led by Mallam Yakubu Yahaya stirred up trouble in Tafawa Balewa area. At the end, over 200 lives were lost with 20 churches  razed.

The attempt by the Izala Muslim sect to stop Rev Bonnke from preaching in Kano in October 1991 resulted in several deaths.

The Zango-Kataf communal clash in February 1992 in Zaria, led to lots of deaths and property destroyed.
The Ijaw/Itsekiri dispute in 1999 resulted in a bitter conflict in which over 200 people were killed. The ethnic clash between Hausa and Yoruba in Shagamu, Ogun State, led to the killing of 60 people. The Sharia Law introduced in Zamfara in 2000 led to widespread protests in Northern States in which scores of people were killed in Zamfara and over 400 in Kaduna.

In 2001, there was ethno-religious crisis in Jos resulting in the death of almost 500 people. In November 2001, Yoruba/Hausa ethnic clash followed with over 100 people killed. In all these conflicts, the military was called to put the situations under control.

“The latest in the series are the Jos ethnical crisis, the Niger-Delta imbroglio and the intractable malaise of kidnapping and armed robbery that are most prominent in the eastern part of the country.”

According to the police boss, these are indeed challenges to the internal peace and security of the nation. “The challenges notwithstanding, Nigeria has fared well in managnig her internal crises.”

He cautioned that crime is a dynamic enterprise, and so the nation must remain eternally vigilant and focused, dynamic, creative and forward-looking at all times.

“Crime fighting strategies put in place must be purposive, tactical, holistic, pro-active and intelligence-driven,” adding, “there must be a paradigm move away from manual security solutions to technology driven approach to crime fighting.”

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