Recently I read a newspaper article where Gov. Rochas Okorocha said that more crime fighting outfits were on the way to curb Imo State of crime. I have read many other articles of other state governors and political leaders using those words ‘crime fighting’. Why must we be fighting crime rather than preventing crime?
It is clear that there are some crimes you just cannot prevent, some people who are ‘naturally’ evil and only the intervention of the Holy Spirit can stop them from crime, but what about those preventable ones which happen to be in the majority in crime statistics in Nigeria? What are the major crimes in Nigeria today?
In the south-eastern part the dominating crime is kidnapping with cyber-crimes, pipe-line bunkering and armed robbery following closely behind. In the North we have the major national headache in the name of Boko Haram with armed robbery and kidnapping following distantly behind. In Lagos, almost every crime apart from Islamic terrorism is obtainable. Could all these crimes be avoided? Were 80 percent of them preventable? The answer is yes. They could have been prevented so rather than fighting it when it had already happened, we could have prevented a lot of them from happening.
There is this popular say ‘an idle mind is the devil’s workshop’. That adage could be applied to over 70 percent of the crime perpetrated in the southern parts of Nigeria. When a young man graduates from university, does his national service and comes home to stay over 5 years counting the ceiling boards in his father’s house rather than sitting in an office, he becomes a ripe candidate for the devil’s agenda. This is why we see kidnapping among other crimes in the rise in the east. Chief Ohakim even though the gesture was politically motivated tried to solve that problem in Imo State to an extent by introducing the 10,000 job scheme.
For those who are truthful to themselves, we can attest that to a great extent crime was reduced in Imo State. The cases of kidnapping was relaxed as compared to what we have today. There is a sense of pride for a young man to wake up in the morning and dress up to go to an office no matter how low the salary was. That pride alone will deter the young man from doing anything to jeopardise the job such as involving self with kidnapping and other armed crimes.
When Gov. Okorocha came, I expected him to add another 10,000 but rather he was adviced to do the opposite and he sacked those young men and women. Today we are experiencing increased cases of crime and our leaders are grappling with crime fighting methods when there are easier ways to prevent a majority of the crimes and keep the people happy. Just the monies spent by out leaders for their entertainment can provide jobs for hundreds of youth while the monies mapped out for overseas trips can employ some thousands. We haven’t looked at the monies they give to their girlfriends, the monies they loot, the monies they use for lodging in hotels among others. We are talking about billions of naira yearly which can provide jobs for the youth. Even if there is nothing for them to do, pay them some form of social security until there is an opening for them to work but our leaders will rather grab as much money as they can rather than leave a legacy.
Using Imo State as a view point on the issue of educated unemployed youths, government and our leaders have failed in their responsibilities to us and thereby created excuses for these young men and women to engage in crime just to stay alive. Another issue is illiteracy and the north is the most affected in this area. While majority of the southerners sent their children to school, the majority of the northerners sent their children to islamic clerics and mallams who send those children out to beg (amagiris). These children form the core of perpetrators of terrorism in the north today. Very few educated muslims will be decieved by the false teaching that by killing innocent men, women and children one is fighting a holy war but the illiterate ones are the easily manipulated when their heads are filled with false fantasies of virgins waiting in paradise, they are manipulated by those who hate peace and who are making money through crisis to go an kill themselves and other innocent people.
The Federal Government must have realized this which necessitated the formation of the amagiri schools but if those children are still taught by the same hate-filled clerics and manipulators, what good will the schools do? If the norther child is well educated and gainfully employed when they grow up, Boko Haram would not have lasted this long. They have a large volunteer population of illiterate youths manipulated by devious educated ones to perpetrated evil for material gains. Why don’t those who are sending them go and die themselves? Abi they no wan meet virgin too? We elected our leaders because we thought them to be the best among us but it seems that they care more for themselves than for us who put them there. Our leaders tell us to have patient while they are the most impatient people.
They can easily hop into an aeroplane and jet out to any luxury location in the world while we are plagued by all sorts of mishap. They go abroad to celebrate their birthdays while we can barely afford three square meal. We are one year older as a nation but have we learned from our mistakes? Are our leaders actually going to building roads and industries for us or building them with their mouths as is the case in places like Imo State? Which way are we heading to?
Fighting crime is fighting people, we may not be concerned today but it may directly or indirectly affect us tomorrow.It may be you, you brother, your sister, your son or daughter or relative or friend who may be the next crime government will be fighting. Any of them could also become the victims of those desperate unemployed or illiterate criminals who our system did not give the chance to grow. Let us start preventing crime by doing the right thing. Government should live up to its responsibilities to our youths who are our future.