Opinion

POLICING IN YALA LGA: A CASE STUDY OF OKUKU URBAN

GENERALLY speaking, it is beyond doubt that the security situation in Nigeria today is still worrisome. People are still cautious about moving freely within the country, even in broad daylight. The scale of kidnapping, robbery attacks, ritual killings, murder and other devious crimes, appear to continue on the upward trajectory. This is clearly a sign of the times. The security agencies especially the Nigeria Police Force are not fairing better in the blame game.

What, with the seemingly endless and mindless mass murder and cold-blooded assassinations in many parts of the country. The situation was made more worrisome with the advent of Boko Haram terrorists who have succeeded in wiping out thousands of lives and destroying properties in the Northern parts of the country. This hydra-headed killer-group has also succeeded in annexing many towns and villages in the North Eastern part of the country and decimating families with daring and defiant extremity.

Though the security agencies appear to have risen to the occasion like the latter day Nigerian Army, by deploying their best efforts to tackle incidents of crime, much remains to be seen in their operational and attitudinal posture towards achieving the best. This is because they have constantly and unabashedly continued to cave in to human frailties in their operational thrust or the synergy between them. Clearly, what is urgently needed is such a fundamental reformation and recharge that will call to the fore, primordial values, those heroic human qualities that will help them actualize the vision and mission of their respective security organisations.

Sincerely speaking, the Nigerian Police Force ( NPF) especially the Out-Station at Okuku Urban in Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State is indeed, in dire need of fundamental reforms and recharge targeted at vision actualization and rapid results in its mission/goals achievement drive. As at the last check, http://solomonislandblog.com.ng reliably gathered that the Out-Station is grossly under staffed with a meagre ten police personnel to mount surveillance and protect lives and properties in a commercial town like Okuku. Worse still, there is no utility vehicle attached to the station to enhance the operational capacity and workability of the police personnel.

Our last check revealed that Yala as a local government have a divisional police headquarters at Okpoma and only five below average functional police posts littered at Wanokom, Ezekwe, Yahe, Aliforkpa and Okuku to provide maximum security of lives and properties for a local government as large as Yala. The police post at Ipolo Ukelle has since been abandoned and infested with rodents. This is grossly underserved in security parlance and calls for urgent attention.

The building housing the police post is a rented ram shackled old structure which has become a shadow of itself with no toilet cistern, dilapidated doors, windows, roofs and cracks on virtually every segment of the walls. This itself is a security threat and risk to the police personnel and suspects detained at the ailing facility.

The bad press and not so-rosy public reputation, is actually borne out of the ever increasing ugly experiences by Nigerians with its men, in far and near places. There is, therefore, a crying need for the cream of its leadership, the political class and the entire Yala community to go back to the drawing board to remedy the prevailing situation. Given the calibre of Yala men and women presently in the higher cadre of government, business, politics, academia, military, et al, there is no doubt that they will get it right if all hands are on deck.

However, what is wrong with the Yala political and business class etc appears to be cohesion and conspicuous lack of mutual aggregation of communal interests for the betterment of the society as everyone seems not to care.

From the hue and cry by the public about attention to the deplorable condition of the police station to even serious complaints being heavily monetized, there is an urgent need to give the police out station a befitting working condition . Most importantly, their housing needs and general welfare packages must be looked into with the urgency it richly deserves in tune with what is obtainable in other climes.

Our crew who conducted an on the spot analysis of the deplorable condition of the facility made unsuccessful attempts to speak with the rank and file of the force but all efforts were rebuffed for fear of victimization.