BY: Nick Nwaneri Calabar
An international security expert, Dr. Charles Bassey, has called for a new approach to eliminate increasing rate of crime in our society.
He also called for the establishment of security trust fund as part of measures to address the spate of kidnapping, armed robbery attacks and other crimes in Cross River State
He made the call in Calabar recently during a security summit with the theme, ‘Security: Everybody’s Business’ organised by Efik Leadership Foundation in the wake of recent upsurge in crime rate in Calabar. According to the Vice President of ASIS International and Guest Speaker,
“The fact that things are happening the way they are, people are being concerned, it shows that whatever security governance system they have currently in the state is not working optimally. So they need to ask themselves, how can we make this work better? “I am surprised that there is no emergency response system that is viable in the state. If for instance my family member is kidnapped, what do I do at first? I don’t even seem to know. I am going to call the police. You call 112 as the case may be. So that system where, if something happens there is a response where people can feel government presence. That is what government needs to do. You need to set it working.” he added,
“Government needs to step up and say, ‘this is what I am offering you that is different from what you are experiencing. Reinvigorate and re-establish security trust fund.
Homeland security is still government intervention and would not solve the problem. It is just another enlarged bureaucracy. The state is having so much bureaucratic processes that stop even things from happening. So we need a trust fund where people will manage the funds of the state strictly for security and transparently.”
Bassey also called for intelligence gathering, protection of soft targets, involvement of retired security personnel in security issues, avoidance of over reliance on technology for protection, reduction of vulnerability by citizens, better lighting of the neighbourhood to curb crime.
Another guest speaker and retired Police Commissioner who was in charge of FCT, Lawrence Alobi, said “the value of law is predicated on its enforcement,” adding that crime rate among youth has soared because their potential is not harnessed and that there was need for them to be employed.
Engr Ekpe Essien Ita, while reading the statement of the Board Chairman of the Efik Leadership Foundation, said the essence of the security summit was because insecurity persists in the state. “
“It is cause for worry to every one of us that our city, Calabar, nay Cross River, has in recent times been referred to as and considered one of the most insecure due to many reported incidents of violence, including robbery and kidnapping.”
All arms of the security agencies and concerned organisations took part in the summit