Crime and security challenges are among the major social problems that affect all societies and impacted negatively on the overall societal well-being. Their consequences threatens the lives and properties of the societal members as well as peace and stability of the society.
Security in all societies is everybody’s business to make personal contributions and efforts at individuals, groups, organizations and state at large.
Crime and general insecurity are dynamic due to expertise and sophisticated skills of the criminals which requires higher sophistication on the parts of those in authorities and agencies saddled with the responsibility of maintaining law and order.
As the sayings goes from the classical to contemporary scholars of criminology is that crime is inevitable in every society, but the government and the potential victims of crime must not watch and see things getting worse without taking appropriate action and measures to deal with it.
Security operations are complex and should be all encompassing that will confront and combat crime in all it’s ramifications with maximum efficiency that will build confidence in the minds of the general public that government is doing all it could to protect their lives and properties on one hand, and maintain the peace and stability of the society on the other hand.
The best approach in combating crime and insecurity is to identify their remote and immediate causes. This will give us a clear direction, focus and ideas on how to approach it holistically.
In the processes of designing operational strategies in combating crime and insecurity, the most important is to conduct comprehensive and extensive security survey to have a comprehensive, wider views and understanding of the problems at hand in order to deal with it decisively, effectively and squarely.
The first approach is to identify the gangs of criminals operating in a particular area (s), their hideouts and operational strategies used to maimed and terrorized people. If we take the cases of banditry, cattle rustling, kidnapping and general insecurity in Katsina state on the hotspots or danger zones, what quickly comes to our minds are Dandume, Sabuwa, Faskari, Kurfi, Kankara, Malumfashi, Dutsinma, Danmusa, Safana, Batsari and Jibia local government areas. From the onset, these problems started with few local government areas, but failure to do the needful and trivialization of the problems gives the bandits the audacity to attack harmless and innocent citizens which keeps escalating and expanding. Had it been a strict proactive security measures were puts in place the issues of banditry could be successfully fought, that is why we still have them around the corners making things difficult for the citizens.
The next is to assess the levels of degree of vulnerability of people in the affected areas (potential victims). In one of my previous writeups I cried out on the degree of relative vulnerability in Katsina and other states, someone draws my attention that the activities of bandits raised the degree of vulnerability from relative to absolute vulnerability which we all know. Those areas I mentioned to live and survive there is extremely difficult and potentially dangerous.
After identifying the above critical areas of security challenges, the next things to do is to take all the necessary proactive and reactive measures from sending more troupes, adequate provisions of logistics and their welfare and finally design operational strategies of chasing the bandits to their last hideouts.
In addition to the above measures those involved in the theatre of operations should also design a separate operational strategies to deals with escaping bandits and criminals wherever they go so that all the places will be secured against the bandits invasion.
I will not go into the details concerning the issues of insecurity because my seniors in criminology and security studies said much particularly Professor Sani Zuru but his advice and that of many others were almost neglected despite the fact that they done that out of patriotism.
To me, the enforcement of these restrictions should be approached with utmost caution because in an attempt to stitch the wounds, you may likely cause fractures and the potential victims will be no one, but poor, innocent and harmless citizens that will fall prey to the security who will now have golden chance to harass, intimidate and opportunities for extortions.
We are quite aware the bandits used their motorcycles in the bushes not towns. With this order now those who are attacking people from the bush they are free to use their motorcycles anytime they want. When they attacked, their escape routes are to the bush not certainly to the towns, cities and villages.
Restrictions of motorcycles, vehicles and all forms of movements as a strategy of securing lives, properties, maintaining peace and order is not a new phenomenon. It was imposed in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi and other states as a result of boko-haram insurgents to curtail their movements.
When it comes to the security challenges associated with rural banditry in the north, Katsina is the only state affected by the menace of banditry, cattle rustling and kidnapping. Other states were also affected in similar or higher magnitudes notably Plateau, Benue, Kano, Kaduna, Zamfara, Niger and Sokoto suffered and are suffering from the negative consequences of rural banditry, but none of them contemplated to imposed such restrictions in their states to cover both affected and unaffected areas but only Katsina State government thought of imposing blanket restrictions.
What we need to ask ourselves and the stakeholders objectively without fear, partisanship or any other interest does our current deterioting security situations called for restrictions of movements in all the local government of motorcycles/tricycles really called for that? To me is an alermists reaction to show the whole that the state is no longer safe.
These restrictions when enforce, it will occasion untold hardship to the poor from different angles which the initiators do not puts into consideration or foresaw from the objective and realistic points of view.
In conclusion, I am humbly appealing to the stakeholders to approach the enforcement with, otherwise it inflict more injuries that it could not cure or wounds that it could not heal. Without doubt this law will infringe the fundamental right of movements of the overwhelming majority of law abiding poor citizens who uses motorcycles and tricycles as the means of transportation and general movements.
Ado Umar Lalu writes from Daura, can be reached via email@example.com, 08060306089