Oscar C. Wali is the Chief Security Officer of Eneka Community in the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State. In this interview with EDITH CHUKU, reacting to the spite of insecurity in the area, he urged parents to keep their children in serious surveillance while assuring that the legacy of the peaceful disposition of the area will be restored.
Two months ago, you posited that in no distance time, cases of crime in your community will be long forgotten but that seems not to have been achieved yet. Why?
I can assure you, which you are a witness to, that there has been a huge success in that area. Yes, we might have not been able to curb the situation entirely but everyone will attest to the fact that there is progress, achieving that is not when you apprehend one or few persons, you clap your hands, go and sleep that you have succeeded. No, it’s continuous. Security is a continuous thing.
When you say continuous, does that mean that the community will never be crime free?
No, not at all. We don’t want to take chances. By God’s grace, criminalities becomes history, which will be very soon, there is need for intensive check, severe patrol, you have to be very alert. Sometimes, people commit crime elsewhere and run to another community for hideout, or stay in another place to plot evil they want to carryout in a different and even distance place, so, as long as security is concern you don’t go on holiday, because, even apart from curbing crime, there are other areas we are needed to enforce sanity, like cleanup, ensuring restriction of movement during sanitation exercise and so on.
What are some of the things that have aided criminalities in your community?
Security is not one man’s business. It’s a collective effort. Everyone will have to contribute to ensure that it’s achieved, but whereby, there is laxity portrayed by some members of the community, it becomes a threat to the war you are fighting. Sometimes you don’t need to expose yourself to attract the enemy so that you can win a battle, you might lose everything in that process.
How do you mean?
Just few days ago, two under-aged kids, between the ages of three and five wandered out of their parent’s house unnoticed, a little boy and girl child. They crossed the main road and walked down to the pipeline. It was their inability to cross an area that was covered with water and the fact that the stones kept for people to pass through was too high so they couldn’t cross. If not, they would have got to maybe OPM junction and who knows.
How were there found?
A good Samaritan saved them. Those kids walked kilometers away. I don’t want to mention for security reasons, and those areas are very lonely, the woman that found them said the boy who is about four years or less was crying seriously looking confused while the girl was just staring at the water probably thinking of how to cross it- children that cannot say their names properly. The woman took both of them and started tracing back, asking people around, it was about when she and two other women around almost resorted to handing the children over to the police that they said they saw crowd beckoning and running towards them, behold among that crowd were the mothers of the children who claimed to have sent them to their friend’s place for birthday party. Those kids were very lucky to have fallen into good hand. What if the opposite, God forbid, was the case. Everyone will have to be consciously involved.