rather unfortunate that a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria can
descend so low as to fake gunshot to waste national resources and blackmail the
police. Hear him, "The truth is that. I was not shot. I only inhaled
excess of the tear gas and the doctor requested l should be flown abroad. So l
didn’t orchestrate the so called drama. I was simply obeying the doctor’s
instruction. Nigerians should direct the blame to the doctor, because I was
embarrassed too by the doctors in London when they queried the doctor’s report
I came with”.
Must it take Abe all this while to say the
truth? That this is coming after the National Assembly, the Inspector General
of Police, the Federal Government and various NGOs have constituted panels upon
Panels of Inquiry to investigate the shooting of Senator Magnus Abe, is a
serious disappointment. Why should he suddenly turn around to say, “I was not
shot”? What a shame. Ogonis are known not to tell lies or deceive people. They
are not known to raise false alarm for gains. The live of Ken Saro-Wiwa
testifies to this. What did Abe want to achieve with faking gunshot and now
asking Nigerians to direct their blames to “the doctor”. Was “the doctor” with
him when the incident took place? Is he not the actor in the orchestrated
shooting drama who merely invited the doctor to join him in the act? If the following emerging facts concerning Senator Magnus
Abe’s orchestrated shooting incident are anything to go by, then, Nigeria is in
trouble. Is it true that:
1. Senator Abe was alleged to be hit by a fake bullet?
2. Rivers State Government claimed that Senator Abe was
3. Port Harcourt doctors were intimidated to issue fake
health certificate/referral note?
4. Rivers State Government claimed that Senator Abe was
flown to UK with air ambulance?
5. Air France confirms that Senator Abe was a passenger on
seat number 01, on their 20.10pm flight – PHC-LOS-LON?
6. Senator Abe was checked into London Bridge Hospital,
Emblem House, Tooley Street, SE1 2RP with fake name?
7. London Hospital informed Senator Abe that he has no need
for medical attention, but free to stay as long as he wishes?
8. Senator Abe was admitted in Ward that deals with shock
victims, instead of Emergency Unit for gunshot wounds? And
9. Is it true that APC leadership planned to move Senator
Abe out this weekend?
Who is fooling who here? Why should Abe choose
to mislead Nigerians? Why did he choose to be economical with the truth? Abe
owe Nigerians an apology. Abe owe the police an apology. Abe owe Rivers people
an apology. Abe owe Ogonis an apology. Abe owe Eleme people an apology. As a
deterrent to others, Abe should be made to bear the cost of the various panels
instituted to investigate the false shooting including the cost of disruption
of traffics and economic activities on east/west road in Eleme arising from the
protest/blockage by youths because of the shooting which turns out to be sham.
CULTISM IN ELEME: THE WAY FORWARD
Cultists are group of persons or
illegal gang that operates underworld and without public recognition that may
be violent in nature against nonmembers especially when a member or group
inordinate needs and demands are not met. Cultism is a cankerworm that has
eaten deep into the fabric of the Nigerian society and has shattered the once
serene Ebubu clan. In recent times we have recorded over thirty painful
cult related deaths. While some were shot dead; others were strangled to
death, yet others died in cult associated fatal road mishap during the
burial of a victim of cultists’ outburst.
from the display of shame, the Ebubu Cult Crisis from August 8 to September 29,
2013 resulted in the dead of over 30 people; a hundred families and two hundred
and twenty individuals were displaced; about 10 others were injured; properties
worth over 1billion Naira were damaged and the socio-economic life of Ebubu
Of the five categories of cults in
Nigeria namely: classical confraternities, mafia cults, female cults,
godfathers’ cults and terrorists’ cults, two are present and operational in
Ebubu. These are godfather’s cults and terrorist’s cults. Godfatherism is fast
growing secret cult in Eleme, especially with the approach of elections. The
godfathers lure these innocent youths with drugs and monetary inducement and
further promises to shield them, give them political appointments and huge
monetary rewards which usually turn out to be ruse.
The cultists in Ebubu concern
themselves with perpetuating crimes and fear of crimes by constantly
terrorizing law abiding citizens, disposing them of their properties, rapping
and killing. The ancient city became deserted when the cultists introduced
robbing and rapping into their operating formula.
The chiefs and elders’ attempt to
use “Ogbe” to control arms bearing and other violent crimes failed due to high
level of insincerity displaced by the traditional rulers, Chiefs and Elders.
The fear by some of these chiefs that their family may be victimized due to
their complexity in the cult crisis necessitated the quick removal of the
“Ogbe”. And the secret revocation of the “Ogbe”, brought about the collapsed of
traditional authority as things felled apart. However, efforts were marshaled
by few traditional rulers who were at home with the assistant of the Executive
Chairman of Eleme Local Government Council, Hon. Oji N. Ngofa to use
intelligence and law enforcement resources to control these youths, which
yielded positive results and provided the platform for the majority of the Traditional
Rulers, Chiefs and Elders on self-exile to return home.
It is clear that the Ebubu Youth
Council Caretaker Committee have failed to address the Ebubu Cult crisis, the
major problem it was created to solve. This failure is a clear manifestation of
the rot in our system and the danger in politicizing youth leadership.
As peace is gradually returning, it
will be disservice to the Eleme nation, if we wait until these young boys and
girls get further loose, relocate to “Ɔpε” or into the creeks and
consolidate to unleash greater havoc on the masses before we act. The
invocation of “Ete Ɔpᴐᴐ”
(Traditional Mace) and “Nkpᴐrᴐ” (Traditional Staff) are but temporary measures
likely to fail as did “Ogbe”.
CAUSES OF CULTISM
The problems of rising cases of
cultism and insecurity in Ebubu in particular and Eleme in general can be
traced to so many factors. Some of these factors are:
1. Intermittent Communal Crises
between Eleme and Okrika
These crises encouraged the procurement
of gun and knife proof charms for majority of the youths to protect them during
these wars. The cessation of hostilities did not terminate the potency or
otherwise of the charms. Majority of these youths still believe that they are
invisible, that they are guns and matches resistant. The crises also exposed
the youths to places where they can procure these charms.
Chieftaincy Tussle and Acrimony
among the Chiefs
Chieftaincy tussle and acrimony
among the chiefs of Ebubu have assumed an alarming state. It is a cold war that
many do not know it exist yet its impact is being fetched in the activities of
these young boys and girls who are being misled for their sponsors’ selfish
goal. Government must address the emerging time bomb in Ebubu and in other clans
and communities of Eleme before it explodes and consume us all.
Government must step in to solve the
problems of acrimony among the chiefs in Ebubu to avoid total breakdown of law
and order. The rising fire can be felt by careful observers, especially
security experts who cannot claim ignorance of the danger posed by increasing
chieftaincy tussle and acrimony in Ebubu.
Rivalry among Youths’ Body
The way and manner most of the youth’s
bodies in Ebubu were elected and inaugurated left much to be desired. In
most communities that constitute Ebubu due processes were not followed.
Besides, political considerations and personal interests took prominence over
transparency, common sense, and community interests. The results are rising
cult related killings, crimes and general fear of crimes. The government owes
it a duty to check undue rivalry among the youths by ensuring that where due
processes were not followed to elect and constitute a youth body, something is
done to address the shortcomings so as to carry everybody along and promote the
spirit of comradeship and brotherhood among the youths.
The general collapse of the value
system, disregard for human life, lack of respect for elders and constituted
authorities, absence of the once cherished spirit of communal love and peaceful
coexistence, and total alienation of the youth from customs and tradition of
the people of Eleme due to rapid industrialization and shameless display of ill-gotten
wealth are major contributory factors to the uncontrollable incidents of cult
induced killings and wide spread terrorism in Ebubu that needed urgent remedy
through reorientation and reawakening.
An idle mind is the devil’s workshop
says a popular adage. The rate of unemployment in Ebubu is alarming. You need
to take a walk around the community any afternoon and see for yourself the
number of youths idling away doing nothing. Something need to be done and
quickly too to address the problem of unemployment in Ebubu.
The level of illiteracy in Ebubu is
very high compare to other clans of Eleme. This may sound embarrassing and
unacceptable to some of us, but, we must tell ourselves the truth for once. There
is urgent need for the government to device ways of getting our youths back to
school. An educated mind cannot be easily convinced into carrying weapons to
terminate the life of a fellow human being or destroy properties maliciously.
Government should look in this direction as part of long term solutions to
insecurity in Ebubu and Eleme generally.
It may seem myopic or even
unspeakable, but the fact is that some desperate politicians are behind the
cult crises in Ebubu either in preparation for the launch of their political
ambition or to propagate their popularity. Either way, ignorantly, though, they
should be told in clear terms that what they are doing tantamount to building
terrorists cell and is against the law of this country especially the
provisions of the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011.
Laxity on the Parts of Law
The laxity on the part of law
enforcement arises from the failure of intelligence security and the gap
existing between the Police, Neighborhood Guards and the citizens. The
State Security Service (SSS) as plain clothes force should as a matter of
priority sit up to its responsibility by gathering real time intelligence that
will help check these cultists and criminals. They can create a local ruse
force to conduct pseudo operations among these youths. There is urgent need for
greater presence and interactions in the communities, use of non-law
enforcement resources that breaks cultural, language and information barriers
and promotes trust and common goal.
Besides, the animosity and struggle
for supremacy between the SSS and the Police in Eleme which is visible and
which has robbed them the sharing of intelligence and other information over
the years, must be resolved now if the security agencies must deliver on their
Drug Abuse and Addiction
A walk along any street in Ebubu in
particalr and Eleme in general will reveal immediately the harm hard drugs has
done to our young boys and girls. There is virtually no street in Ebubu without
at least three to five drinking joints and a hard drugs dispensing closet. Most
cult related violence is traceable to effects of hard drugs. Security agencies
must brace up to the fight against drug abuse in the area. Identification and
rehabilitation of addicts is not out of place as part of immediate solution.
The proliferation of small arms in
Eleme is of great concern to security practitioners. While many of these arms
can be traced to the Eleme and Okrika communal conflicts as pointed out
earlier, others are linked to the recent Niger Delta “militants for negotiation
for development” operations. Still others were purchased by the criminally
minded to terrorized innocent citizens and residents and dispose them of their
belongings. There is therefore urgent need for the government to put all
necessary machinery into motion to mop-up these arms. Arm for money
strategy is recommended here propelled by the spirit of conditional amnesty.
11. Influx of Displaced Waterfronts’ Residents
of waterfronts in Port Harcourt and its environs and the sacking of the
residents created hundreds of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Rivers
State. This development resulted in mass movement of different types of people
into Ebubu and contributed immensely to rising cases crimes in the area. The social
decays which prompted the sacking of these waterfronts are known to all of us.
These evils find their way into Ebubu and the result is increasing cult cases,
armed robbery, rapping and other crimes.
The inability of
the Rivers State Government to provide alternative settlements for these
internally displaced persons coupled with the lack of adequate arrangement to
mitigate the diverse negative impacts of unplanned mass movement of people into
Ebubu is worrisome, and therefore calls for immediate attention to addressing
the increasing security challenges arising therefrom.
It is therefore
not out of place to call on the authorities of Eleme Local Government to do something about “Trailer Park” in Ejamah Ebubu which has become the den of
criminals in the area. Attention should also be focused on the security red
spots in Alesa, Agbonchia, Akpajo, and Onne that are fast emerging as criminals
breeding centers in Eleme.
a thorn in the flesh of the people and a clog in the wheel of progress of Ebubu
Clan. To eradicate this monster, the family, school and church must
accept their responsibilities of providing good basic home training, moral and
spiritual orientation to the children. The government must eradicate those
issues that give rise to crimes and social decay, while law enforcement should
ensure that any person who falls short of the law faces the rod of the law.
This will create and sustain sanity in our society.
It is now the duty of
the various stakeholders in Ebubu Clan to avoid a repetition of the ugly
experience of the past which led to breakdown of law and order, and work
towards ensuring lasting peace in the area. This, they could do by constantly
and continuously monitoring the youth bodies in the area and calling them to
order whenever they are derailing. The chiefs on their part are also advised to
institute an effective and efficient peer review mechanism to prevent what
might be detrimental to the fragile peace in the area.
The Rivers State
Government should also consider the request of the traditional rulers, chiefs,
elders and opinion leaders of Ebubu Clan concerning establishing a Police Post
in the area. Considering the rapid industrialization that is taking place in
the area and uncontrollable influx of people from various parts of the world and
the country into Ebubu the request for a police station in the area is not out
of place but a priority. Police presence is a good deterrent.
Let it be pointed out
here that a place have been donated by the people, it has been inspected and
confirmed suitable by the police authority in Eleme. What is delaying the
approval and take off of the Police Post in Ebubu?
While appreciating the
efforts of the Council Chairman and Chiefs and Elders of Ebubu to checkmate the
menace of cultism, it is pertinent to call on all concerned stakeholders to
ensure that the passion and zeal demonstrated in the course of searching for
workable solutions to the problems of cultism is not abandoned midway as that
will be more disastrous.
It is also important
to call on the Federal Government to consider addressing those long term
factors that gave rise to cultism in the areas such as illiteracy,
unemployment, and frustration in addition to the short term solutions being
General Advocates the Establishment of Council for the Registration of Private
Security of Nigeria
Director General of the Nigerian Institute of Security (NIS), Chief Osaro
Ollorwi, has called for the establishment of the Council for the Registration
of Private Security of Nigeria (CORPSON). According to the Director General,
the body would be charged with the responsibility to set standards, establish
and maintain the register of private security practitioners in the country. He
stressed that CORPSON would be very useful in sensitizing the private security
industry, eliminate quacks and charlatans that have infiltrated the industry as
well as compel operators of private security outfits to become members of
recognized professional security associations like NIS.
security guru stated that absent of standards and control measures have exposed
the security profession to public scorn and ridicule, adding that private
security has become haven for dropouts and other questionable characters. He
observed that the recent study carried out by the Nigerian Institute of
Security revealed that over two million Nigerians are engaged in private
security practices. According to him, 90 percent of these are poorly trained,
ill-equipped, and poorly remunerated.
an exclusive interview with the Editor
of Safety Record Magazine, Nkereuwem Akpan, the Director General stated in
his office in Port Harcourt that NIS was establish in 1996 to promote and
campaign for improved status, wellbeing, and professionalism of persons engaged
in or likely to be engaged in the theory and practice of industrial security
and loss prevention.
Ollorwi decried rot in the educational sector, corruption in high places and
poor funding of government security agencies that have become threats to our
national security. The details of this interview are presented below. Happy
Can you give us a brief history of your
Nigerian Institute of Security (NIS) was established in 1996 as a professional
association committed exclusively to the advancement of the innovation,
development, training and dissemination of best practices in security and loss
prevention activities in Nigeria, with headquarters in Port Harcourt, the
Rivers State capital.
Basically, what are the objectives of your organization?
The Nigerian Institute of Security recognizes that
security is critical to achievement of uninterrupted and sustainable growth and
development. It is our goal therefore to promote the application of integrated
and participatory approaches to security management, practiced to the highest
professional standards. Develop and promote approaches and good practices for
comprehensive and integrated security management in Nigeria. Improve professional
capacity in security management and public understanding of the field. Provide professional
quality assurance by peer reviews and professional dialogue. Share information
through professional networks, timely publications and professional trainings
and meetings. The Institute also aim to contribute to policy formulation by
providing useful insight and advisory services to government agencies and NGOs
in all aspects of security and loss prevention.e and integrated security management in Nigeria.
Improve professional capacity in security management and public understanding
of the field.
Provide professional quality assurance by peer reviews and professional
Share information through professional networks, timely publications and
professional trainings and meetings.
Contribute to policy formulation by providing useful insight and advisory
services to government, development agencies and NGOs in all aspects of
security and loss prevention.
is, the Nigerian Institute of Security was established to promote and campaign
for improved quality of life, wellbeing, and professionalism of persons engaged
in or likely to be engaged in the practice of security and loss prevention. We
attach much importance to the training of our members and conduct continual
professional development and examinations with the aim of raising the status of
our members. The institute also set entry criteria, establish standards,
provide for the delivery and holding of lectures, exhibitions, public meetings,
conferences, and examinations, and awards certificates, diplomas, prizes,
scholarships either alone or jointly with other educational and professional
bodies. NIS represents the professional interest of security and loss
prevention practitioners, consultants, technologists and students as well as
users of their products and services in both the public and private sectors.
How widespread is NIS in Nigeria?
there are viable branches of the NIS in Lagos, Kaduna, Bayelsa, Rivers, Oyo and
Delta states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Arrangement is ongoing
to officially inaugurate the Akwa Ibom State branch any time from now. The
National Executive Council of the NIS have approved the establishment of
branches in all states and major cities in Nigeria as a way of mobilizing the
Nigerian populace to participate actively in security matters, boost the
practice of security and loss prevention for the overall betterment of society.What is actually responsible for the growing importance of private
security in Nigeria?
organizations in Nigeria are increasingly engaging the services of private security
personnel because of their expanding activities and the need to protect their
personnel, equipment, vital information, reputation and other assets that by
their calculation are subject to considerable threats and risk and even loss
through accident, negligence, or willful intent. Importantly, as businesses
grow, they tended to employ modern methods of production that resulted in
higher quality goods and services to the extent where competition among
organizations in the same or similar line of business become imminent. This is
because there is always the tendency for companies in the same line of business
to attempt to learn of the rival processes affecting their own performance.
With this, the competing organizations begin to explore ways to penetrate into
the rival companies using various espionage techniques in an effort to see not
only the design and production methods but also sales and customers lists, and
in an attempt to meet the demand for increased production, the labour force
must grow over time, perhaps from few members to hundreds or even thousands.
With this, dishonest employees begin to surface, occasionally engaging in
various activities such as pilfering and stealing company property such as
stock, tools, spare parts, even finished goods and cash. Also there might be
disguised employees who are agents for a competitor’s intelligence gathering
agency or one who creates internal friction among workers with the aim of
lowering their morale and cause disruption of production. This invariably calls
for the growing importance of private security to check, control, mitigate and
manage these unwarranted behaviours and activities in organizations. Private
security also ensures that losses are prevented thereby enhancing business
profitability. A good private security system, whether contractual or
proprietary, must efficiently and effectively prevent losses arising from all
forms of wastes, accidents, errors, and crimes (WAEC) and others in any organization;
else its existence is questionable. The importance of profits to any business
enterprise cannot be overemphasized. Companies need profits to be in business;
to keep and maintain its assets; to grow and diversify; to discharge its social
responsibilities to both the government and society, especially host
communities. Private security ensures that “earned profits” are not depleted,
consumed or lost to preventable waste, accident, error, and crime.
relevant is Private Security to the overall development of Nigeria considering
the various security apparatus of the government?
mistake most of us do make is to assume that government security apparatus is
enough to grant us absolute security. The primary goal of government all over
the world is security and welfare of the people. This differently put is that
people all over the world expect their government to protect their life and
property and guarantee them minimum standards of living. But, this lofty goal
is far from attainable anywhere in the world. This is because public security
resources base is weak. Where they appear to be effective, the public security
resources alone cannot guarantee a stable, safe and crime-free environment. The
various government security apparatus, as you called them, such as the Nigeria
Police, Customs, Immigration, Prison, and Fire Services, NSCDC, NAFDAC, NDLEA,
etc. are under-staffed, ill-motivated in terms of life assurance policy,
accident allowance, good accommodation and clean environment, lack of training
and retraining to keep them abreast with the latest technical knowledge of the
industry. The authorities are not committed to equipping them so that they will
be in a better position to discharge their constitutional responsibilities. The
public security system managers benefit from these loopholes.
relevant of Private Security is rooted in its complimentary and cooperative
role with the relevant government agencies in the protection of lives and
properties. Training, specialization, orientation and administration are other
factors that make the Private Security relevant in Nigeria. Its primary goal of
improving business profits by preventing loss a relevant business service; and
it provides professional services to commerce and industry. This is in contrast
to public security in all aspects. For instance, public security resources are
society-oriented whereas private security resources are essentially
both must work together for proper security and sustainable development of the
country. As has been stated in answer to one of your questions, company assets
are measure of its strength. A weak resources base affects company performance
and the implementation of its objectives and policies. Security presupposes a
stable and relatively conducive environment in which an individual or
organization may pursue its ends without disruption or harm, and without fear
of such disturbance or injury. Security is a delicate balancing act. There can
never sustainable development in an environment of uncontrollable loss or
damage arising from preventable waste, accident, error and crimes.
will interest you to know that crime-related losses in the Nigerian business
community are conservatively put at N30 billion annually. Vandalization of oil
pipelines, oil theft and bunkering in the Niger Delta is said to cost the
nation on the average N7.7 billion annually. The cost of terrorism, kidnapping
and violence crime is jointly put at N23billion yearly. If the security system
has been effectively and efficiently managed, these losses would not have
occurred in the first place; and the society would have benefited immensely
through improved governance and provision of quality social services.
Private Security also has the necessary human and material resources to protect
commerce and industry. They also have more information in their possession
compared to the police. Private Security is more relevant because it departs
from the tradition of the public security agencies that adopt curative and
reactive approaches in handling and treating security matters to emphasis
pursue and sustain its core value which is loss prevention.
Recently, NIS called for the review of the
Private Security Guards Act 2004, could you please tell us the summary of the
Act and the specific areas your organization feel should be urgently reviewed
Private Guards Companies Act of 15 December, 1986, otherwise known as CAP 367
Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990 as reviewed in 2004 limit security to
mere watching, guarding, patrolling and carrying of money for the purpose of
providing security. This is one of its many shortcomings. Security is today a
profession. It has grown beyond these primordial functions. “Guarding” is a
minute function in security. Modern security is a science that requires a
wholistic approach with sophisticated equipment, technology and skills. And
modern security legislation must ensure that security provides the balancing
sciences, the regulating arts and the applicable technologies necessary to achieve
the goals of assets protection and loss prevention.
the Act failed to differentiate between public security which is
society-oriented and private security which is client-oriented. This
fundamental deficiency is not only misleading but also confusing with severe
consequences in the security industry if not corrected. Because of this lack of
definition of what really constitute security, every Thom and Henry sees
himself as security practitioner.
the Act is deficient in establishing requirements and procedures for licensing
private detectives and investigators as is obtainable elsewhere.
from its name to its contents the Act is concerned with Private Guards
Companies and not security practitioners. In other words, the Act set out to
regulate Guards Companies not the security employees. It is like regulating the
ownership of vehicles and not regulating the drivers, the conductors and the
passengers. The results are infiltration of the security industry by quacks, rising
crime waves, increasing loss figures, and environment drenched in fear.
the Act failed to make provision for a body to regulate, control, monitor,
supervise, and discipline Private Security practitioners and service providers.
The new legislation should as a matter of priority establish a body to be
called, “Council for the Registration of Private Security of Nigeria”,
(CORPSON), charged with the responsibility of determining who are Private
Security practitioners (and auxiliary service providers); what standards of
knowledge and skill they should attain; establish and maintain a register of
private security practitioners; and control the practice of the profession in
all its ramifications.
council would also help in the much needed sanitization of the Private Security
industry as well as eliminate quacks and charlatans that have infiltrated the
industry, set practicing standards, professionalize operators in the industry
by mandating all levels of operators in the industry to become members of
recognized professional bodies. Membership of professional bodies like the
Nigerian Institute of Security would ensure proper discipline and subject
practitioners and their companies to adhere strictly to the ethics and code of
conducts expected of practitioners in the industry.
new law should correct one of the major deficiencies of the Private Guards
Companies Act by ensuring that each private security association in Nigeria is
represented on the board of CORPSON as of right. Such representative must be an
Executive Council member of the recognized security association among others.
In recent times, many Private Security outfits have emerged;
do you consider this to be a healthy development for the country?
truth is that Nigerians fear of crime, and awareness that criminal justice
resources alone cannot effectively control crime has led to a growing use of
individual and corporate measures, including private security products and
services. A study carried out by the NIS in 2012 revealed that private security
has provided employment and means of livelihood to nearly three million
Nigerians. Even though 90 percent of them are poorly trained, ill-equipped,
poorly remunerated and work in slavery conditions, it is a healthy development
socio-economically. But, when viewed from the professional perspective, it is
unhealthy. Over the years, security matters in Nigeria has been inundated by
lack of focus, lack of institutional framework, absolute absence of professionalism
and serious misconception to the extent that the profession become haven for
dropouts and criminal elements in society thereby further exposing the
profession to public scorn and ridicule. The days of these quacks and
charlatans in the honoured security profession are numbered. They either
qualify within months now or be shown the way out as their continue practice is
doing more harm than good to the country. Most of the security incidents
resulting in loss of lives, vital information and valued properties are
traceable to these quacks masquerading as either security consultants or
Many companies are engaging the services of contract security
instead of creating security departments as part of their organization, what is
the implication of this for both the organization and security personnel?
issue of contract security versus proprietary security services is a complex
one. Apart from being a matter of choice, each has its merits and demerits. In
Nigeria, the growth of proprietary security services has parallel that of
contractual security services. Exception of armoured delivery service, all
other security functions can be undertaken as proprietary or in-house
activities. Various factors usually determine the decision to hire proprietary
or contract security personnel or guards to be specific. These factors include
but not limited to the location to be guarded, the size of the guard force
required, its mission, the length of time the guards will be needed, and the
quality of personnel required.
advantages of contractual security services include lower cost. Contract guards
are less expensive than a proprietary unit. In terms of salary, in-house guards
earn more because of the general wage rate of the company employing them. In
many cases, that wage level has been established by collective bargaining. The fact
that they receive fewer fringe benefits and their services can be provided more
economically by large contract firms by virtue of savings in costs of hiring,
training, and insurance policy because of volume constitute added advantage. These
have the negative impacts of attracting the wrath of labour union, public
criticisms and condemnations and can also lead to labour unrest and expensive
insurance, payroll taxes, uniform and equipment, and the time involved in
training, sick leave and vacations are all extra cost factors that must be
considered in establishing proprietary security force. Administratively,
establishing in-house guards service requires the development and
administration of a recruitment programme, personnel screening procedures, and
training and deployment programmes. It will also involve the direct supervision
of all security personnel. Hiring contract security solves the administrative
problems of scheduling and substituting manpower when someone is sick or
terminates his employment.
there is no doubt that the administrative chores are substantially reduced when
a contract security service is employed. At the same time, the contracting
customer is obliged to check the supplier’s performance of contracted services
on an ongoing basis, and he must additionally insist on a satisfactory level of
quality at all times. To this extent, management of the client firm is not
totally relieved of administrative responsibilities.
when the need for guards change arises, it is necessary to lay off existing
guards or take on additional manpower. Such changes may rather come suddenly or
unexpectedly. The in-house security department has this flexibility in
manpower. If they have extra men available for emergency use, such men are an
unnecessary expense when they are idle. On the other hand, if there is a
temporary decrease in the need for guards, it would hardly be efficient to
dismiss extra men only to rehire additional guards at a short time later when
the situation changes again.
their larger pools of manpower, contract firms can use their personnel with a
high degree of efficiency and flexibility. By proper scheduling, they can
provide extra men on very short notice.
services users are often in favour of non-union security personnel. They often
supported their position by arguing that such security personnel are not likely
to go on strike, they are less apt to sympathize or support striking employees,
and they can be paid less because they receive few, if any fringe benefits. In
Nigeria, 80 percent of all unionized security staff are proprietary personnel.
it is often suggested that contract security personnel can more readily and
effectively enforce regulations than proprietary security personnel. The
rationale is that contract personnel are paid by a different employer, and
of their relatively low seniority, have few opportunities to form close
association with other employees of the client. This produces a more
consistently impartial performance of duty.
is often another issue that makes many to tilt towards engaging the services of
contract security services. When a client hires a security staff, he hires the
management of that service to guide him in his overall security programme.
These and others not mentioned here constitute why any business concern
subscribing to the arguments listed here would clearly favour hiring contract
close look at proprietary security services points also to several advantages
including better quality personnel. The higher pay and fringe benefits often
offered by employers, as well as the higher status of proprietary security
employees attract higher quality personnel. Such employees have been more
carefully screened, and they show a lower rate of labour turnover. In the areas
of control and management, managers have a much greater degree of control over
personnel when they are directly on the company’s payroll. The presence of
contract supervisor between guards and client’s management can interface with
the rapid and accurate flow of information either up or down.
proprietary security force can be trained to suit the needs of the company, and
the progress and effectiveness of training can be observed in this context. The
performance of each member of the force can also be more readily evaluated.
Loyalty is equally guaranteed. Proprietary security personnel are known to
develop keener sense of loyalty to the company they are protecting than their
contract counterparts. The contract security personnel who may be shifted from
one client to another, and who have a high turnover rate, simply do not have
the opportunity to generate any sense of loyalty to specific, often temporary,
survey undertaken by the NIS in 15 states of the federation recently revealed
that many managers prefer to have their own men on the job. They feel that the
company gain prestige by building its own security force to its own
specifications, rather than renting one to an outsider.
weighing the various factors on either side of the debate, the prudent manager
will carefully study the quality and performance of security companies
available to service his facility, his expectations and the immediate
environment. He will assure himself of the standards of personnel, training and
supervision. He will make a careful analysis of the comparative costs for
proprietary or contract security services, and he will make an estimate as to
their relative effectiveness in his careful assessment. But, as a general
advice, in situation where the demand for personnel fluctuates considerably, a
contract security service is probably indicated. If a fairly-large and stable
security force is required, a proprietary security service might be favoured.
of contract security services do so for reasons of economic or to avoid the
administrative headaches of labour and personnel management problems. I am not
against contract security but I frown at a situation where security personnel
are paid a slave-like wages by the contract firm after collecting reasonable
amount from the client-company. An example is where a contract firm collects
N80,000 and N120,000 monthly for each security staff and supervisor
respectively from the client employer, but ended up paying each security staff
and supervisors N30,000 and N40,000 respectively. Is this fair and justifiable?
Payments of peanuts as salary to staff have created more criminals in the workplace
and in the society than we can imagine. Slave-like wages erodes staff self
confidence, props up internal tension, generates frustration, builds up anger
and finally results in violence crimes both at home and workplace. It
constitutes security threat. Non-payment of salary as at when due also falls
within this category. I believe that the labourer is worthy of his wages.
In recent times, NIS has tried to promote the training of
security personnel in the country. Are you satisfied with the level of support
from both the government and the private sector?
The training of private security personnel at
all levels is not something to be toyed with. This is the only means of making
the profession popular, acceptable and attractive as well as brings about
improvement in the performance, wellbeing and remuneration of personnel. The
Nigerian Institute of Security has taken up the training of private security
personnel at all levels as core responsibility. The support we are receiving
from the government and corporate organizations is encouraging and an
indication that Nigerians are beginning to know and value the importance of
private security resources in the overall development of the country.
Specifically, what are the expectations and
kind of supports NIS require from government and organizations?
the Institute lack modern office infrastructures, operational vehicles,
information and communication facilities like modern computers, internet, fax
machine and a befitting office accommodation. The office space donated to the
Institute by the Rivers State Government need furniture and other office
equipment to make it attractive and functional. Our library is begging for security
books. Our planned forensic laboratory needs money to materialize. We cannot do
all this without financial support yet we cannot go about with plates in hands
begging for aids, but appeal to government, corporate bodies and philanthropic
individuals to come to our aid.
Nigeria has been described as a country with very low
security awareness. How true is this?
It is very wrong to say that there is no
security awareness in Nigeria or that the level of our security awareness is
low. Why most people fell that there is no security awareness in the country is
that we do not learn from our past mistakes. We do not see or hear things
happening elsewhere and learn a lesson or two by propping into them. We do not
assume our security to be our individual and collective responsibility. Rather,
we see security as the duty of the police or other law enforcement agencies.
Even, when we know of crime and criminals, we do not alert the police who need
this information to function effectively. The unfriendly posture and attitude
of the police towards information providers also constitute stumbling blocks
that weaken citizens’ participation in solving crimes and social decay. Above
all, illiteracy, hunger, poverty, frustration and other social vices also
contribute to low security consciousness in the country. However, security
challenges such as oil theft, kidnapping, terrorism and cultism, of recent,
have helped drive security to the front banner in Nigeria.
As an expert, what would you give as common security threats
in Nigeria as at today?
For proper understanding of security threat,
it is pertinent that we come to term with the difference between risk and threat.
Risk is the probability that a threat agent (cause) we exploit an environment
or asset vulnerability (weakness) and thereby create an effect detrimental to
the environment or asset. On the other hand, a threat is a possible source of
danger to an asset, an environment or nation as the case might be. A threat
agent is a person or phenomenon that can make a threat manifest. These threat
agents can be natural or human. Threats can also be accidental or deliberate.
But, when we talk of national security we are concerned with those phenomenon
or human agents that can create detrimental effects to the country that can
disrupt the smooth running of the nation. With the exception of once in a while
floods, Nigeria is free from most devastating natural disasters.
emergence of such groups as neighbourhood cults, urban and political guerrilla
forces, terrorists, militias, religion fundamentalists and organized criminal
groups like oil theft syndicates, kidnapping cells, fraudsters in government
and corruption constitute threat to the corporate existence of Nigeria. The
trend is quite capable of spreading fast and reducing the country to a state of
anarchy. We have sadly witnessed such trends before. Armed robbery, the mafia
called “secret cult”, which has now extends beyond our institutions of higher
learning to swallow the entire society, peddling of hard drugs, religious and
political extremist bodies etc. all evolved as little cells and then developed
into mighty oak trees because they were not promptly dealt with when they
started to rear their ugly heads. Boko Haram was like child’s play when it
started in 2009 in Maiduguri, Borno State. Today, it has grown into a monster
that is threatening the corporate existence of the country. Three States,
Borno, Yobe and Adamawa are under siege. The Niger Delta militants today
constitute severe burden on the federal government. For instance, the amount of
money spent on the amnesty programme alone is more than many states annual
budgets. While the country’s civil servant monthly minimum wage is N18, 000; a
militant is paid N75, 000 monthly for
doing nothing. What a country! Yet, the Niger Delta region has remained
underdeveloped! Perhaps, a study of how the Niger Delta militants were used to
underdeveloped the Niger Delta Region should be called for here. A research into
the role of the military and other security agencies in perpetuating these
threats so as to remain relevant is necessary if we must move out of this
circle of violence.
do not have to resort to the frequent use of the military to deal with these
threats each time they emerge. We all appreciate that the military do not have
the numbers, the orientation and the spread to cope with frequency at which
these gangs emerge or the conflicts which they are used to promote occur. The
federal government needs to upgrade the mobile police force into an operational
militia force or create an official militia army, as it is in the United States
of America to deal effectively with these urban guerrilla bands and make
appropriate laws to deal with the authorities and individuals sponsoring them.
It was my expectation that the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army which was
created to respond to insurgency activities in northeastern Nigeria and based
in Maiduguri, Borno State will be appropriately designated and mandated by
legislation to deal with terrorism and urban guerrilla activities in the
country. Unfortunately it turned out to be another division of the regular
army. The Nigerian National Guards which was set up in 1989 by decree to combat
crime and terrorism was abandoned after much time, efforts, and money have been
sunk into it because its mission was said to overlap both the police and army
and the fear that it could be used for political witch-hunting and intimidation.
With the police is political witch-hunting and intimidation not very much with
us? Why can’t we sum up the political will to address specific security
challenges and leave unnecessary imaginary fears for once?
level of commonly presumed crimes like theft, burglary, kidnapping, murder and
assault had risen sharply over the years, indeed since the return to civilian
polity. To deal with these, side by side the violent crimes, the strength of
the Nigeria Police has been increased three folds over one decade and is still
increasing rapidly. The police themselves as evident in Lagos, Port Harcourt
and Abuja, have chosen to deal with the emergent security threats by regular
patrols, by congregating its personnel at traffic junctions and via Swift Operation
Squad vehicular operation. They have also resorted to the rather unfortunate
methods of deploying large numbers of their personnel to the so called “Big
men” as guards. These methods have had limited successes and is unhealthy for
what has reached a crisis situation in some parts of the country. What is
needed now is the introduction of solid police methods and programmes to match
the current threats and plans for the future.
of the silent threats to national security are the poor state of the national
economy, near collapsed educational sector, expensive food prices and
unemployment. These problems pose major threats not only to national security
but also to our future generations and indeed the nation psyche. It is
absolutely erroneous for us to continue to think that the oil revenue, which
took over as the principal foreign earner and contributor to our economy since
1970 and served the twelve States sumptuously will in 2014 and beyond continue
to serve our 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja well
considering the speed with which the treasury is being looted. The need to
diversify and expand the economic base of the country has become long overdue
and there should be a comprehensive programme to match action with words. It
will be another disservice to Nigeria if the transformation agenda of President
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan failed to deemphasize Nigeria’s dependence on oil. The
transformation programme should be directed at driving the nation’s economy
from reliance on oil to an industrial and agricultural based economy. Wealth
from oil and raw materials for the attainment of this height are abundant in
the country. What is the problem then?
grave threat to national security is corruption. Nigeria is a corrupt nation. Corruption
has virtually become endemic in this country. It has also eaten so deep into
all fiber of the Nigeria society that nothing seems to be working rightly
again. The craze for share of the national cake has forced many who
have no access to steal legitimately into crime and criminality. If recent
disclosures are anything to go by, it is clear that the amount of money stolen
with writing implements is far higher than that stolen with guns. In all,
Nigeria continues to sink and the masses wanton in poverty and misery.
countries of the world face external threats to their national security. So do
Nigeria. These threats should be well appreciated, identified, assessed,
analyzed and controlled. Although the extent of external threats which a
country faces is usually increased or decreased by the foreign policies of the
country concern; such threats could be categorized in terms of constant or
regular threats based on the geography, topography, environment, etc. of the
country. Volatile border situations, historical, colonial, religious
proliferations, immigration and attractive mineral deposits are some of the
factors that can determine the degree of external threats of a constant or
regular nature a nation is exposed.
experts have averred that globalization is the extension of neo-colonialism;
some claimed it is industrial cum economic enslavement of the developing world.
This assertion points to globalization as external threat to underdeveloped world,
including Nigeria. This conclusion is
inevitable while we remain underdeveloped and unable to compete with the
industrialized world. But, the success of Japan, India, Malaysia, Taiwan, etc.
should encourage us to believe that if we develop the correct focus and
strategy, we could find a niche in the maze of glaring opportunities, which we
can exploit to our advantage. By carefully worked out policies and strategies,
we should be able to prevent our country from being the dumping ground for
useless or morally polluted “industrial products”. We must not forget so soon
the experience we suffered in the hands of Mr. Turner and his gang of saboteurs
who tried to destroy our economy through economic sabotage that led to the
massive investigation in the 1977/78 and resulted in the imprisonment and
deportation of several expatriates for economic espionage and related offences.
The activities of two Indian Vaswanis brothers which nearly crippled the
Nigeria economy and the recent exposure of the existence of Hezbollah foreign
terrorists’ cells and armory in the country are cases in point.
technology, including spying satellites and advanced computers have exposed
this country just like most other countries to extra terrestrial espionage and
sabotage. In this respect, we have become victims of a global trend over which
we have no defense or control and from which we derive little positive result
due to our backward technological development. We must redirect and reorder our
priorities and objectives to catch up with these modern trends.
also plays a major role in external threats to our national security. The
threats of chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction have remained
and continue to remain potent. We can go on and on.