There is an uneasy calm in the southeast now as crime pervades virtually everywhere with the attendant loss of precious lives. The rate of violent crime has reached the point that no week passes again without report of the incident of violent crime in one or another of the southeast states. The crime wave has become alarmingly embarrassing.
It is sad to remark that human lives are taken away with ease as the sanctity of life holds no meaning anymore to perpetrators of these dastard acts. The sanctity of human lives is recognized the world over that the right to life is enshrined as a law in the statute books of most countries, Nigeria not an exception.
The culture of the Igbo forbids anyone from taking the life of another which he cannot create. In some religious groups it is admonished that “thou shall not kill”. Life is sacred but the sacredness is now lost in the manner people are slaughtered like fowls.
At the weekend Owerri, the capital city of Imo was thrown into mournful mood when a popular lawyer widely described as a gentleman and former chairman of the Imo branch of the Nigerian Bar Association Barr. N. H. Nwankwo was murdered in cold blood in his office. It added to the spate of increasing violent crimes occasioning loss of lives in Imo State.
A day earlier, two policemen on duty were shot to death by gunmen at the Obowo police station in Obowo local government while one of the hoodlums lost his life in the exchange of gun fire between the police and the attackers who swooped on the police post.
It would be recalled that a week earlier the quiet town of Orlu was engulfed in crises when a combination of the police and the military invaded the place and killed about 10 persons destroying and burning in addition properties. The claimed to be on a reprisal attack because their colleagues were allegedly killed by the Eastern Security Network.
Aba, the Abia State capital a fortnight ago, witnessed the killing of two PoS operators in two different incidents by gunmen operating with the tricycle popularly called Keke. In the same state a police man was killed and the station burnt while the armoury was looted.
Last week in Ebonyi, a divisional police station at Onicha local government area was attacked by hoodlums who set ablaze four patrol vehicles. Reports of insecurity also abound in other parts of the southeast with many not getting mention in the media. Crime is an ill wind that blows none any good.
The level of crime that dots our landscape is an indication that the government is clearly overwhelmed by the issue. We also appreciate the challenges of the government in this regard given its lean resources. The suggested remedial alternative of state policing trumpeted by many may also not work given the myriads of issues that bedevil it.
Security it is said is everybody’s business and the perpetrators of crime we opine can be nabbed and stopped if the citizens are awake and vigilant over what happens around them. Those who inflict criminal violence on the people are not living in the air and have relations who can spill information on their activities.
News Echo is alarmed at the increasing level of criminal activities in the South East and indeed Nigeria which is threatening social and economic activities. We are therefore urging parents to re-examine their roles in the parental training they provide their children. Good upbringing begins from home and the behavior of any child owes so much to the background training received back home.
Little wonder the scripture has enjoined that “train a child in the way he should go and when he grows up he would never depart from it.” Indeed so much devolves around the parents to provide good upbringing and education to the kids.
We must not also fail to fault the government over its inability to plan for the teeming graduates who are churned out each year from our higher institutions without employment opportunities. The meager resources that ought to be used in reducing the unemployment situation are instead milked away through corrupt practices of politicians and other public officials. This is unacceptable.
We would suggest that since the governments appear overwhelmed it should explore the cultural options of policing which has been found useful in states like Rivers and see how it can be integrated as an alternative. The process could be purified to remove all the negative labels in order to make it quite attractive.
We recall there was peace when the Bakassi, the Aguleri etc held sway as vigilante group. We have had enough killings. The governments should rise to the challenge now.