The Owo Attack and Security Agencies in Nigeria

The attack on the Catholic Church Owo, Ondo State, where scores of worshippers were killed and several others wounded has again been greeted with the usual “condemnation” from various quarters – as if such a response is enough to avert future occurrences of similar or worse attacks.

The dastardly act has again exposed the ineptitude of our security agencies whose score card has certainly fallen below zero in intelligence gathering. The whole thing was made even more odious by the complete lack of response from the police, or the motley number of uniformed agencies that are sworn to defend the people, thus making it easy for the attackers to operate maximally and flee without any intervention or interception.

The inability of various security agencies to device effective intelligence gathering is responsible for the calamities that befall us in various locations and at varying shades of vileness.

Our security agencies, despite the huge allocation of scarce resources, are constantly caught sleeping on duty and this has become a running national embarrassment.

Again, we must insist that the time has come to re-examine the nation’s security architecture, to overhaul and upgrade the detecting arm of all the security forces and to recalibrate our surveillance systems to meet modern methods of investigating crime. We have been locked in an obsolete system where we spend money on men, rather than on sophisticated materials and scientific methods.
At this point, a national summit on security will not be out of place because the brains currently manning our forces appeared tired, and posses neither the enthusiasm for crime fighting nor the innovative skills required to succeed at such an enterprise.

I condole with the families of the victims as well as the Catholic community over this avoidable loss of innocent lives and pray for the repose of the souls of those whose lives have been so brutally cut short.

I hope those whose duty it is to arrest and prosecute the criminals responsible for this mayhem will, for once, do their job swiftly and effectively in order to bring closure to the families of the bereaved and the rest of our anxious nation.

Jonathan Gunu Taidi, Esq.