Criminality may over run Nigeria if we don’t restructure now-Aare Oladeinde Ariyo Security Expert
By RAZAQ BAMIDELE
London, Dec. 14, 2018 (AltAfrica)-Aare Oladeinde Ariyo, a security consultant and practitioner based in Nigeria is a member of the America Society for Industrial Security since 1993.
Ariyo, who had his First Degree in Accounting was influenced to change his career by his expatriate boss who initiated him into security matters.
Having got trained abroad and investiture as member of some professional bodies abroad, the vocal security analyst and commentator said his new calling is so helpful to him going by the security challenges in his country-Nigeria.
He spoke withAlternativeafrica.com on various security issues and how the situation can be put under control.
AltAfrica: How comfortable are you with the security challenges in Nigeria?
Oh, less than ten per cent especially considering happenings in the north-eastern part of Nigeria where Boko Haram is still decimating our land space and of course mass murdering our soldiers. That for me, is not acceptable. If you go around Nigeria, kidnappings, robberies and all manner of ritual killings are everywhere. And these are not indications that governance is touching the people. I would expect that if there are more jobs, there will be less of criminality.
AltAfrica: What breeds crimes?
For instance, every year, we turn out thousands of graduates. And then you know how it is that devil finds job for an idle hand. When a trained mind finishes school, he has set visions, set goals, set objectives. And all these are achievable if he is gainfully employed. But when there is no employment, what happens? They easily get influenced by criminal elements or peers who have been into it before them. And it doesn’t take much to switch over and you will see wonderful young man, a medical doctor for instance, has become an armed robber. How do you explain that? After seven years in the university and a year of houseman ship.
AltAfrica: How then can we curb criminality in Nigeria?
I was a guest on a TV programme and somebody was asking a question that how did we get here? There had been several calls for restructuring- Why restructure? It is because what we have now is not working. If some say it is working for them, it is not working for the generality of the people, the critical mass of the people.
For me, like people have given it different interpretations, what we are saying is let us review different organs of our life. For instance, the amount of money the elected political of holders earn as a matter of salary and emoluments are on the high side. So, our democracy has become so expensive so much that year in, year out, our recurrent expenditure is eating greater percentage of our budget, sometimes 70 to 30%. As far as we are having that, we would not have the desired development or goal. That is one.
You and I know the problem with our power here. So much money has been thrown into it, but where are we? We are here now sweating, why? It is because of power outage. That has to be frontally addressed. It is the shenanigan we had that brought out all kinds of power outfits from the old National Electric Power Authority (NEPA). It has been painfully causing the Nigerian people headache because the value is not there. We have not got the value for all the money especially when people said they were buying into this thing. And government has to still give them money to run. It is not a secret, it now in the open.
And of course, the issue of policing system being reviewed, including decentralizing the police. Now, I am not talking about having a State Police. Most of our states are not viable economically to run State Police. It would be disaster of mean proportion, if state that cannot pay primary school teachers to go and recruit people, train them, kit them and then arm them and then deploy them and not be able to pay their salary! The mayhem they would unleash on the citizenry cannot be imagined. It is better not imagined. And I state that with emphasis. But we can decentralise. The state here, it is said that the Governor is the Chief Security Officer (CSO). Even the governor has no authority on the Policemen and the Department of State Security (DSS) men protecting him. So, how much of effectiveness can the CSO be to start with?
Then here, which has connection with the power issue, if you want to start an ordinary barbing salon, ordinarily, the first thing you it should be thinking of buying is clippers. But here, power generating set will come even before he pays the rent of the shop that he will use. So, you can see how the system has helped in keeping people out of employment.
And when you say government should employ I say no. All what government has to do is to create an enabling environment whereby investors, both within and without would come and set up companies and employ people but we are still far from there, And we have quality trained manpower. Take it from now.
AltAfrica: Insecurity is now at its peak….. (cuts in)
Yes, it is at its peak and it is going to be worse because election is approaching. I know the consequences of that.
As an expert, what do you think can be done to check and eradicate the monster?
Ah, you are asking me to write a book? (laughter). We are not talking of a moderate or sizeable problem. We are talking of a gigantic problem. It is humongous, it is huge. It is massive. Or let me use the words of one of my friends, it is elephantine. You have to relieve me of answering that question in a yes or no format.
We have said a few things. And to begin again with ‘how do we, how do we,’ will take us till tomorrow from now.
AltAfrica: Okay sir, if the crisis persists, what, in your view would be its long term consequences?
We will become increasingly insecure and unsafe. There was a time in Lagos that we had traffic robbery attacks and all that. Government stepped in and empowered the Police, bought them vehicles, get them motorised, bought them some special motorcycles and also set up Neighbourhood Watch. So, every corner you go, someone is watching. And that has helped to reduce crime in Lagos.
Perhaps, Federal Government can understudy Lagos, make it a model and blow it and make it federal and let us see how it works. Above all, the most critical element is job creation. And I am not saying that government should hire people, no. make the environment conducive in a way that companies would come here and start businesses that would employ people.
Are you saying that even with the alarming proportion insecurity has assumed, it can still be curbed?
If things were done as should be done, I can assure you that, though we can never have zero crime definitely, it can be reduced very drastically. I interviewed some criminals who said they were into crime because they have no peaceful means of livelihood. They said if they have means that can take care of their livelihood, they will key into that.
Closely followed that is our value system where overnight somebody would become wealthy, start driving flashy cars, move into exotic apartment and start living large. Now, when the young ones look at that, they wonder how he could make it! the would want to copy that person so much that the mentoring system that should make qualitative mentoring available and produce tomorrow’s resource managers has been thwarted. You now see criminals mentoring up and coming young ones. They now bring out more vicious criminals, that are far worse and more deadly than they are.
AltAfrica: What then is expected to be the role of micro family system in our society to facilitate accepted mentoring?
Unfortunately, growing up, we had this community idea, on our street in Abeokuta, if you misbehaved, all the elders on the street would beat you. And if they beat you and you got home to report, your parents would double the beating. But what happens now? Even uncles cannot discipline children within the family.
In schools, we were caned for misbehaving. Today, in school, beating is forbidden except for rare circumstances. So, the moral in the society has been torn and our value system has been terribly eroded.
We have to go back to where we started from. Our fathers had wives. They were worshiped. They were idolized. They had authority over their homes even when they were not so wealthy. But today, what happens? In this era of one man one wife, the wife, if she has little resources above her husband, the man becomes a pariah in the house. He becomes a ‘she man’. Even in discipline their children, he would have lost his authority and position. The woman would pamper the children until they become spoilt and say I am in charge of the house. That is where the trouble starts.
While growing up, the system of single parenthood was a shame. Nobody would come out and say, “I am a single mother.” But today, there are association for single parents. And God in His wisdom, whether you are a Muslim, Christian or worshipper of other things, would always prefer a complete family system where there is the father, the mother supervising the grooming and growing up of their children. Children get better trained and of course in terms of turning out good ones are also very high.
AltAfrica: What can you say about foreign influences on the society?
Ah, even the internet has become of a burden than blessing. Limitless access to internet has exposed our children and the young and up and coming ones to all manners of ideas. Ideas and movements which have not helped the original owners. We call it civilization generally here, but I call them Western ideas because they do not reflect civilization. Or man marrying man, is that civilization? Or woman marrying woman? Those things happen there and they were brought in here. And sadly, some of us blindly embrace them so much that is becoming a way of life.it is unfortunate.
We have a lot of works to do. We used to have a National Orientation Agency (NOA) with the sole of task to reinventing the morals in Nigeria by providing enlightenment and public education in value system. But is no longer there. May be if that comes back, and more importantly, unfortunately again, the religious groups that we have, the dominant ones, have not been helpful. They have deviated from their original course of winning sole for Jesus or Muhammad, to raising money. And to that extent, they accept money from even criminals as if they can buy God which you and I know is not possible.
We need really to go back to where we let off from and if you look back at your life, you can identify where you went wrong and be able to correct them.