24 September 2018
The security of lives and properties remains the most pressing and fundamental responsibility of government. No matter how well a government performs in other areas of governance, when once it is found wanting in safeguarding the lives of its citizenry, such a government cannot be said be responsive.
Until recently, hardly does a month pass by that we don’t hear of cult clash, kidnappings, inter and intra communal clashes as well as other sundry crimes in Calabar and other parts of the State. While some would argue that the blame shouldn’t be entirely laid on the door steps of government alone since it cannot be everywhere at the same time, the bulk certainly stops at its table.
It is no longer news that the office of the State Security Adviser is currently vacant following the resignation of its former occupant, Mr Jude Ngaji who resigned his appointment to pursue his political ambition. The former Security Adviser no doubt tried his best to the best of his ability while he lasted but some of us have always expected more. Then again, who gives what he doesn’t have?
My position has always been that the office of the State Security Adviser is not one to be played politics with rather, it is one that must be occupied by seasoned security experts with the requisite knowledge about security and it’s nitty-gritty.
I have always believed that a peculiar state like Cross River where communal crises seems to be a reoccurring decimal, where young men gain delight in taking others live at will through incessant cult clashes and where geography has provided a fertile ground for kidnapping to thrive needs someone who knows the essence of intelligence gathering/sharing and someone that can adopt practical approach of fighting some of this menace base on experiences.
Again, the importance of appointing a well trained security expert who knows what it means to rise through the ranks in the military and paramilitary cannot be overemphasized. Making a man who knows next to nothing on security a State Security Adviser for the Commissioner of Police, Brigade Commander, Director of SSS etc to listen and sometimes take instructions from, would only spell doom.
With the 2019 elections already by the corner and the high possibility of politicians hiding under this period to ferment troubles in some parts of the State, it is not in the best interest of the government for such an office to remain vacant. The recent killing of an undergraduate student of the College of Education, Obudu at a political rally is a pointer to this fact.
A new State Security Adviser must urgently be appointed who would immediately swing into action through the help of relevant security agencies towards identifying possible flash points in the forthcoming elections.
The State is blessed with almost an endless list of people with very impressive record while in service be it in the Nigerian police, Nigeria airforce, Secret Service etc. People like, Inyang Yibala,Lawrence Alobi Rtd, Air Vice Marshall Osim etc.
We must make hay while the sun is still shinning.