By Charles Nwabardi
Crime is as old as man. In the Holy Bible, the Gospel according to St. Luke tells a story of a man who was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho and was attacked by robbers who stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away.
Armed banditry as a crime has been in Nigeria over the years but it took an unprecedented surge immediately after the Nigerian Civil War in the 1970s and kept on rising till today when sophisticated small weapons are in the hands of deadly criminals.
Hitherto, it used to be rob, take money and properties but now it is rob, kill, possess, and destroy. Abductors also, take ransom and kill victims thereafter.
The important element about modern crime is the advancement in Science and Technology which has come to bear in the revolution that has taken place in the Information Technology space.
Recent strides in military technology have led to miniaturizing of weapons and other instruments of crime. This has in turn, given rise to unprecedented proliferation and dispersal of small arms and light weapons. These miniaturized small arms are easy to carry about and can be easily concealed in travelling bags, backpacks, and even long sports bags.
A relevant development is the ease with which the Science and Technology governing the making of explosives and other weapons of destruction have significantly increased in recent years especially through the use of the internet.
It is an understatement that crimes (robbery, high profile killings, kidnapping) pose a serious threat to Nigeria’s development because of its adverse effects on peace and security.
Crime has added to insecurity in Nigeria thereby causing serious distraction to government programmes that could have enhanced national development.
In the words of Anthony Sanni, a spokesman of the Northern delegates during Nigeria’s national conference a few years ago, “The rising insecurity across the country is a cause of concern to every Nigerian. This is because it makes socio-economic development hard.”
Consequently, the security operatives in Nigeria should intensify thorough checks of suspected commuters within intra-state and inter-state movements. Some of the travelers in public and private vehicles carrying big bags sometimes conceal small weapons in them. A case in point is the recent bank robbery in Issele-uku Delta State.
The young men numbering about ten did not come in their own vehicles but came in motorbikes with bags hung on their backs where the guns, explosives and bullets came out from. At the time of their escape, they snatched other people’s vehicles at gunpoint and fled. If as they were coming from their destination, eagle-eyed security operatives would have stopped them for a routine check, this could have opened a can of worms thereby nipping the crime in the bud.
All over the world, those that perpetrate crimes are enemies to their citizenry. In other words, if good measures are taken in Nigeria crime will be brought to the bearest minimum. Furthermore, Nigeria will become a safe country and foreign investors will be attracted to invest.