BEVERLY HILLS, May 10, (THEWILL) – The Akwa Ibom State Government has been challenged to show proof of the CCTV cameras it claimed to have planted at border communities across the state.
The Executive Director, COMPPART Foundation for Justice and Peace Building, Saviour Akpan, who threw the challenge while speaking with newsmen in Uyo on Monday, said such a facility would have assisted the state in the fight against the current frequent attacks on security formations.
Akpan, who is also National Chairman of the Network of Police Reforms in Nigeria, blame recent frequent attacks on stations and murder of police officers on the poor management of security information made available to the police by members of the public.
He traced the root of the police crisis in Nigeria to successive governments failing to listen to civil liberty voices, a situation he said alienated the Nigerian security forces from the civil populace.
“What is happening today in Nigeria did not start today. It is an accumulated lacuna which successive governments in Nigeria have failed to listen to the people’s voices with regards to matters of safety and security in Nigeria.
“Over the years, we have been talking with the security forces, tasking them on how best they could put in place security that can endanger public trust, but that has been seriously neglected and the outcome is what we are having today, where members of the public are witnessing attacks on police formations and killings of Police officers of which I have personally started a campaign on.
“Police officers are fellow citizens and also have a right to life. The attack on them is condemnable.
Nigeria’s security apparatus has over the years been alienated from the civil populace. It is becoming very difficult for members of the public who might have been part and parcel of the family before the execution of some of these nefarious acts to give such information to the police for fear of reprisals because of the existence of poor crime information management within the system. That’s the problem.
“In the case of Akwa Ibom State, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State is a liar. He has been lying to the public, telling us he has planted Close Circuit Television (CCTV) Cameras in all the border communities. Before I can say the government of Akwa Ibom State has done enough in the area of security, let the Governor play the CCTV that he claims to have installed.
“The truth of the matter is that a lot of people in some places are joking with security. They are making security to be a mere security slogan. The state has not done enough.
“In the case of Ini LGA, I am suggesting that the police authority should reduce the rank of the DPO because it was very embarrassing for him to have lost guard to that extent to the point of recording such a large number of casualties. They should reduce his rank so that others will sit up.”
The former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Chief Victor Iyanam, while reacting to recent attacks on police stations blamed the ineffectiveness of security formations in the country on lack of men on ground, adding that the few available policemen had been shared out to politicians.
Iyanam who drummed support for agitation for state police said such would allow the states to effectively control their security personnel.
“The Federal system has failed. The police have changed focus to only operations, no more intelligence. Even the DSS should provide intelligence to the police and Army. Intelligence needs funding,” he said
With many recent attacks on security formations in the state, many have wondered what happened to Intelligence information gathering, even as others expected the Governor to address the people.