WORRIED by the rising crime rate across the country, the Oluyole Local Government, Oyo State Divisional Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) recently convened a security meeting in order to sensitise members of the public on the security challenges facing them, and how they can cooperate with security agents in order to have a safe environment.
With the theme, “Proactive Measures in Combating Crimes Within the Civil Populace,” the summit was aimed at creating awareness among members of the public that it is not only the security agents that have roles to play in curbing crimes in the society.
Speaking at the summit, the state NSCDC Commandant, Mr John Oyedokun Adewoye, commended the Oluyole Division Command for the summit, saying it would go a long way in making the public realise that they even have more to do in the area of curbing crime.
“When a crime is committed, people are quick to blame it on the police or NSCDC officials not arriving on time to apprehend the culprits, but there is limit to what we can do without the support of members of the public. Most of us think that officials of the security agencies are magicians, and that their responsibilities include just arriving at the scene of a crime and apprehending the culprits immediately.
“The truth is that members of the public have more roles to play in curbing crime now than the security agents because these criminals are some people’s husbands, brothers, sons, friends, and they live with us.
“And if you don’t volunteer information to the security agencies, then it will be difficult for us to apprehend these criminals.
“While security agencies have their roles to play, members of the public also have theirs; a father who knows that his children is using hard drugs but doesn’t see anything wrong in it, or couldn’t find time to report him to officials of the NDLEA, then he is not helping that child, as well as the society.
“A mother who discovers her son is living beyond his means and could not find time to report him to the police is also not helping the society.
“If we tackle all these problems at the family level, then it won’t spill over to the society, and that is why I want to say that security agencies need information to succeed in their assignments,” the Oyo NSCDC boss said.
In his remarks, the NSCDC Oluyole Divisional Officer, Mr Adebayo Ajagbe, said the summit was organised to create a parley between members of the public and security officials in the council area.
“The public must begin to see security officials as friends, and should be willing to volunteer information to them in order to help in their assignments of tackling crime.
“When the public volunteer information, then crime will be tackled at the initial stage before it degenerates further,” Mr Ajagbe said.
Also, the chairman of Oluyole Local Government, Mr Kola Orelope, admitted that there was little the security agents could do without information, saying that providing them with information would help in making their work easier.
“Many people dread giving security agents information because they feel it could implicate them, but that was in the past. Today, security officials have also been sensitised on the need to have special relationship with the public in order to make their jobs easier.
“I am, therefore, calling on my people to be ready to assist the security agencies by volunteering information that can lead to the arrest of criminals, or information that can help prevent crime being committed.
“Do not be afraid; when they tell you to be coming for some period, just go, as you are doing such for the society, and the security agents will also know you are giving your time in order to curb or prevent crime in the society,” the local government boss said.
At the summit were officials of the Nigeria police, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), with each of the agencies making presentations on areas they needed the support of members of the public.