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Security decadence is a major malady militating against the effective functioning of the Nigerian state. Its excruciating impact is felt in outcomes of terrorist activities, electoral violence, cultism e.t.c

UWODE E. JOSEPHINE, j[email protected] Com

The catastrophic occurrence linked to security gaps is an indication that effective policing in a democratic dispensation goes beyond making security concerns a sole government's responsibility . Rather it calls for a multi-sectoral , multidimensional and household (grassroot) approach to combat.

One cannot claim oblivion that 100% reliance on the police and sister agencies in tackling issues of insecurity have proven evasive and eluded the capacity of the national security framework. 

The Walk for Safety, Walk for Security organised by Wave FM 91.7 tilted towards uniting Rivers State Residents and ensuring all encompassing security approach is an initiative weighed in the right direction and worthy of emulation by states across the federation.

Undoubtedly before now, Rivers state use to be the epicentre of security lapses. This has been redefined following the redesigning of the security architectural framework of the state through the introduction of modalities that seem more holistic than the former arrangements. 

Some of such laudable initiatives by the state Governor Nyesome Wike to foster peace and security  is the introduction of Operation Sting, Rivers State Task Force, and the proposed Neighbourhood Watch complemented by communal  initiative such as the OSPAC. Corporate bodies have not also relented in contributing their quota to security aggrandisement in the state.

The Walk for Safety, Walk for Security (WSWS) is archytpal of such initiatives and as anchored by Wave FM 91.7 Port Harcourt has been able to host  eleven  seasons since its inception. As a way of remarkably marking the end of the year 2019, the 11th season of WSWS was held on 16/11/2019 at the Polo Club, GRA Port Harcourt. This was powered by stakeholders such as the Nigeria Police, The Federal Road Safety Corpse e.t.c and the event  also graced by well meaning Nigerians. 

The essence of the 11th season was to to give a psychological approach to combating crime rather than the sole reliance on the guerrilla approach as applied by the conventional police that has not brought about the maximum outcomes desired.  

The essence of the WSWS is to sensitise residents on the need to bridging security gaps . Awareness creation is a psychological approach with the potency of instigating attitudinal and ideological transformation.

With a sense of patriotism, well meaning Nigerians converged at the Polo Club which is an indication of the awakening of the security consciousness of the good people of Rivers state. It was a sensitisation programme which served as an eye opener to educating stakeholders on their indispensable  roles in ensuring holistic approach to addressing security shortcomings. 

For instance, Household participation can aid in intelligence gathering bothering on:

1)Knowing your neighbour: this is a fundamental issue that shouldn't be treated with levity. A lady was murdered at Rumuosi Community of Rivers state and the body later discovered three days later which was 24th Nov .2019 precisely.

Although investigation is yet to establish the actual circumstances surrounding the death, speculations are pointing to the four neighbours of the deceased whom are believed to be boys of questionable character and confirmed to have relocated on the day the lady was murdered. 

It was a well articulated murder as the deceased was tied to a generator and blocks to avoid her body floating in the well but was discovered by a resident who went to fetch water from the source.  

Had it been such personalities have been reported to relevant authorities before now, a life would have been saved. This is a very ugly incident at the moment threatening the peace and tranquility of Rumuosi community followed by a threatened reprisal attack by the family of the deceased from Ogbakiri community of Rivers state. 

2)Report suspicious movement in your neighbourhood to the police. To avoid fear of victimisation by the police, its better to get a functional emergency response centre number of the Nigerian police to make such reports in order to remain anonymous.

3)local residents can serve as local police through intelligence gathering.

4)Be a peace ambassador by organising security talks similar to the WSWS in your respective states or communities.

5) Be a sponsor of WSWS if birthed in your state.

6)Be available in the WSWS in Rivers state as organised by Wave FM.

As trivial as the aforementioned measures may seem, it has the potency of bringing tremendous outcomes in ensuring effective security that conforms with the 21st century policing style.  Thus, this initiative becomes worthy of emulation by states across the federation.
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Security is a collective responsibility because if we undermine peace for any reason, progress and sleep will definitely elude us and issues of development put in an euphoria state. 

Walk for Safety, Walk for Security is thus a clarion call for Nigerians to get actively involved in tackling security challenges.

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