By Jones Nnebedum

It is the renowned English author and popular play writer, William Shakespeare, who in one of his books stated that “security is mortals cheapest enemy”, and all through history and in all ages the most important charge and optimum assignment of any government at all levels is security – security of lives and properties of citizens irrespective of class, tribe or religion, hence it occupies a large portion of our national statutes, laws and forms the major ingredient of the constitution of any country, including Nigeria.

It is for the reason of the essence and great importance of security to our national life that a huge chunk of the national budget annually is apportioned for the provision of security. Though, it is often said that security is every man’s job but some people are specially trained and drilled to handle security matter of a community, local government, state or federal government.

Hence, we have a number of specialized security outfits which include the armed forces, comprising of the Army, the Navy, the Police and the Air Force. We also have other agencies like the Nigeria Civil Defense and Security Corps, the Vigilante Group and the only one outfit specially designed to handle internal security in a civil government, which is the Nigeria Police. It is a highly organized, trained and regimented outfit specially designed to handle security matters under a democratic set-up. That force is usually made up of able-bodied young men and women, physically fit and mentally alert to do surveillance, investigative jobs ready to avert imminent chaos/bloody riots, combat crimes, arrest offenders, prosecute and at times punish offenders in order to sanitize the society of violent crimes and criminalities as they are often put in police parlance.

In the past 20 years, since the return of democracy to Nigeria, security has become a continued nagging problem to the federal and state governments following the emergence of varieties of security challenges – viz insurgency, militancy, communal clashes, religious clashes, boundary disputes, armed robbery, cultism, rape, drugs trafficking and abuse, thuggery, kidnapping and murder or ritual killing as well as human trafficking and slavery.

Following the eruption of these numerous security challenges in several parts of the country, local dwellers, government, state and federal governments have evolved various means of tackling these challenges by creating specialized units to tackle each type of crime but on the whole,only the Nigeria Police can tackle and combat almost all types of crimes, no matter their nature hence the recent outcry for the establishment of state police but prior to that local governments and state government have been able to create security outfits to handle security challenges in their domain.

Here in Imo state the Rescue Mission Government created an uncountable number of outfits whose jobs vary in size, scope operational mode and affairs.

We had the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, we had the Nigeria Civil Defense security corps, the Imo Community Watch, Imo Security Network, the Imo Civil Guards, Imo Traffic Management and a host of others. Most of these outfits were well intended but wrongly applied and mis-managed or rather misused and abused. The activities of these private security operatives became notorious that they turned to be a private army of bandits that turned Imo state into a police state.

In my view, now that a new government of the people choice is coming on board with Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, at the helm of affairs, there is urgent need to review and restructure the security paraphernalia of Imo state. It is my candid opinion that to be ready and able to combat the ever rising rate of crimes in our state, we need competent, able-bodied and professionally trained personnel. It is in this thinking that a personality who I interacted with during his active years as a public officer of merit, who also retired meritoriously comes to mind.

As it is better to put a square peg in a square hole, I had the privilege interacting and would recommend Barrister H.U Ibeka, retired Assistant Commissioner of Police to step into the job of security affairs of Imo state not in order to stamp out the subsisting hirelings with groups of charlatans operating as area boys, thugs or hired crooks at campaign rallies to sing his masters voice.

Imo security outfit needs a seasoned, drilled and tested patriotic service driven personnel. It is my strong belief that Barrister Ibeka’s presence in Imo security system will make a huge departure from old order. My readers would want to know who this Ibeka is and his stuff that he is expected to bring to the job.

As I said earlier, H.U Ibeka (JP) (Hons) Nigeria, MSC, LLBC (Hons), BL, NAIS, ILEA, DFID (British Council) swiss conf. (on use of force) NPIS, is a retired Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) on Security Intelligence, Expert Consultant, Legal Practitioner and Corporate Consultant. When I met with this gentle man in the course of our interview, he enthused patriotism and zeal to serve his home state, if opportuned. After supervising through a portion of his résumé, I said to my self, this man can address the issue of security challenges of our time effectively and decisively.

In Imo state today, ACP (Rtd) Ibeka had studied, interacted or operated actively with a number of professional security institutions, organizations that he wears a medal of Honour and Merit.

They include Nigeria Army Intelligence School, papa Lagos (NAIS); International Law Enforcement Academy, Gabrone, Botswana (ILEA); Police Mobile Force Training College, Nigeria (PMFTC); Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre, Jos Nigeria (CLTC); Nigeria Police Force Intelligence Bureau, Abuja;Nigeria in conjunction with Feesmak (NPFIB); Police Staff College, Jos (psc); Armed Forces Command and Staff Police Force Intelligence School, Enugu Nigeria (NPFI) and Pointman Leadership Institute, Nigeria.

Armed with these credential, trainings and exposures who can tell me of any other person that is more disqualified than this officer?. I would suggest to the incoming government to tap and utilize the talent, qualities and resources of this gentle man.

Ibeka happens to be of Ifokata Orodo origin in Mbaitolu LGA,Imo State.

Mr Jones Nnebedum is an opinion analyst.He writes from Okigwe