Saturday, June 11

Don identifies intelligence failure as setback in curbing insecurity in Niger Delta

Don identifies intelligence failure as setback in curbing insecurity in Niger Delta

A University don, Dr. Sunny Mbazie, Senior Lecturer of the Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies, University of Port Harcourt has identified intelligence failure as the major constraint in maintaining law and order in the Niger Delta region.

Speaking as a guest lecturer on the topic: “Challenges of Security and Economic Development in the Niger Delta”, at a Public lecture organized by Journalists For Sustainable Development in Nigeria (JSDN) in conjunction with the Port Harcourt Spectator Newspaper, at Ernest Ikoli Press Centre, Port Harcourt, Mbazie said this became a major problem because the law enforcement agents were not people friendly in conducting security operations.

He said that in such operations, security agents engaged in mass arrest, torture and dehumanization of innocent members of the public, thereby alienating themselves from them.

“With such attitude, you cannot obtain sincere information or get their assistance and cooperation in apprehending criminals”, he said.

Mbazie urged security agents to be proactive in intelligence gathering, treat innocent members of the public with courtesy and explain to the public the intentions of security operations.

This, he said, would elicit their support.

He condemned negative attitude towards voluntary informants, such as unwarranted detention, extortion and revealing of the identities of public informants to culprits as detrimental to intelligence gathering.

Furthermore, he appealed to the media to be cautious of their reportage on the insecurity in the region.

He said that terrorists basked on publicity to send across their messages and the media could be used by them to achieve the purpose.

Mbazie stated that to avoid being used as a pawn, every news must be verified, balanced and if the need be, should be left out in public interest.

He, however, said that such decision should be personal and professional and not as a result of government intimidation.

Earlier in his address, Parry Saroh Benson, the Executive Director of JSDN, said the lecture was organized to discuss the myriads of problems affecting the development of the Niger Delta region.

“JSDN is concerned about the future of the Niger Delta with regard to the persistent orgy of blowing oil pipelines, cultism, violent crimes and insecurity.

“We feel there is need to discuss on the issues with the intention to see how we can facilitate the checking of this development and ensure peace and true development of the region”, he said.

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