Friday, 17 January 2020

Efik Leadership Foundation pays security advocacy visit to the 13 Brigade, Nigerian Army

Delegates of Efik Leadership Foundation ELF with a cross section of officers of 13 Brigade of the Nigerian Army 
17 January 2020 

The Efik Leadership Foundation (ELF) NGO recently paid a security advocacy visit to the 13 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Calabar regarding the state of security and violence within the Cross River State, especially within the Calabar metropolis and its environs. 

The delegation was led by Barrister Timothy Esu (the Chairman of the Good Governance Committee) and also in attendance was Engr Ekpe Esien Ita (former CRSHA member), Robert Ani, Dr Emmanuel Adams, Mrs Valerie Bassey, Mrs Amanda Archibong amongst many others. 

The delegation was received upon arrival by the military authorities at the 13 Brigade, Nigerian Army led by the Brigade Commander, Brigadier General O.T. Olutoye who after introductions and statements of intent made the following observations: 

▪That the violent security challenges in Cross River State, Calabar Metropolis in particular, is a mirror of what obtains on the national scene.

▪That the unpleasant social realities are as a result of the destruction of African traditional values and loss of respect for traditional institutions.

▪That the society generally has shielded and bred a crop of persons who have ended up coercing the traditional leadership to silence. 

▪That these social misfits who are easily described as hoodlums operate as adversaries without boundaries and cannot easily be tracked.

▪That these criminal elements operate in a weave of interrelated patterns – drug abuse, cultism, robbery, rape and suchlike vices.

▪That these criminals exploit the gaps created by poor communication aided by technologies between victims and security agencies to achieve their purpose.

▪That most of the violent crimes around here are planned and hatched by close persons thus hindering proactive intervention.

When discussing the challenges being encountered, Brigadier General Olutoye outlined the following: 
▪Lack of technological aids to track crime such as the CCTV camera's that deter or aid investigation.
▪Late information on violent crimes which become useless.
▪Indiscriminate harbouring of criminal elements on anonymous conditions by hoteliers and landlords in Calabar. 

He further revealed that there was a strong operational synergy among security agencies in Cross River State especially between the Army and the DSS and proffered a number of recommendations:

▪A refocusing on proactive measures to curb crime as against reactive methods.
▪Utilization of methods that will properly identify individuals in hotels and neighbourhoods (especially by landlords) before giving accommodation and to aid investigations.
▪Promotion of system thinking which requires multi-dimensional approach by stakeholders to bolster solutions to the complex nature the malaise is assuming.
▪A revival of traditional institutions and school systems to the point of respectability and restored values with the aim of closing the gaps.
▪Creating sufficient awareness and sensitization on crime patterns and means of ensuring security of lives and property.
▪Approaching crime reduction by tackling sociological issues such as joblessness etc.

In response, the ELF delegation mentioned that the NGO was in the forefront of the advocacy for the reining in of violent criminals in the State especially in the Calabar metropolis. They also brought up their concerns about the spate of kidnappings, beheadings, cult clashes, etc and informed the Brigadier General about their plans to host a Cross River State Security Summit in February 2020 in order to get stakeholders together to address and come up with tangible solutions regarding the fragile and volatile security situation in the State. 

The Efik Leadership Foundation is a community development NGO based in Calabar dedicated to transform and empower the lives of Efik youths, adults and communities through social change and community development initiatives. The NGO also serves as a catalyst for creating economic opportunities, improving educational attainment and facilitating community wealth building within the Efik community.

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