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The Dearth & Death Of Community Engagement Is Pegging Nigeria Back

The Dearth & Death Of Community Engagement Is Pegging Nigeria Back

Nov 20, 2020

As hoodlums took a stranglehold of the #EndSARS protests and went on an uncontrolled spree of wanton destruction, what got clearer was the huge gap between community leaders and their people.
 

Community Policing has received new importance at the face of the destruction that followed the protests, and most especially, the calibre of people that perpetrated them. There are many street urchins in Nigeria. Youths, who are not gainfully employed and thrive at the behest of violence are abound in the country.

A country with 26.3% unemployment rate and an even bigger underemployment rate will always struggle to keep bad eggs out of the streets. When thugs, now known in a generally accepted language, ‘hoodlums’ thronged some Police stations, rearing to burn them down, the Police resorted to using the local vigilantes. Local vigilantes have been in Nigeria since time immemorial and their understanding of their people, places and positions stand them out as a security outfit Nigerians can’t do without.

Nigerian youths have lost identity and respect for communism. This is always dangerous in a country that naturally struggles with its own lack of unifying identity. The government must engage the people in their communities, with their leaders and also try to set a good rapport with them. This will create a seamless understanding with them and also prevent any future breakdown of law and order.

Back in the day, town hall meetings were common and the people through their community development associations helped against the excesses of youths. While CDAs are still in existence, corruption and other factors have rendered the respect people have for them to ruins.

Lagos has said it needs N1trn to recover all the destructions it suffered and images of the chars of the properties razed down create ever gory memories. Ibadan, Port Harcourt and other cities also suffered ruins that will take millions off their pockets. Communities are the easiest way to maintain peace and they are important in every sector.

The health sector is suffering from lapses from the absence of enough quality primary healthcare centres, who are basically promoters of community medicine too. The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management also has a critical role to play in managing disasters through preventing it. Governance is a total industry and Nigeria, as a country must take it as such.

The Police too must engage with locals, community leaders and youths and create enough confidence for them to trust their engagement. Nations are built on strong communities, and strong communities are warped around critical social engagements.

Good social engagements, strong communities help in building great institutions and that’s all Nigeria lacks - institutions where the love of the country comes before the people. The death of communities is leading Nigeria to an inglorious path and attention must be taken back to those streets that build the common man. Because that’s where it rises and falls.