By Olivia Obijiaku
The Catholic Action-Nigeria, Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria organized a Public Seminar and Interactive Session on Security in the Parish St. Pope John Paul II on Saturday, 19th March, 2022 with the theme ‘Paving the Way for a Safer Society: The Role of Civilian’.
Speaking on the theme, an expert in Disaster Management, Prof Edwin O Iguisi of Centre for Disaster Risk Management and Development Studies, Department of Geography and Environmental Management, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, defined safety as the condition of being protected from harm or other danger; and also the control of recognized hazards in order to achieve an acceptable level of risk. He noted that though security agencies are charged with the responsibility of safeguarding citizen’s lives and properties, everyone has a role to play in ensuring a safe nation for all.
“A safe society is a society where hazards or dangers do not exist or are brought to tolerable limits.” Prof Iguisi explained. “In disaster management, we call it Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). It is usually the collective efforts of all stakeholders – government at all levels, CSOs, NGOs, CBOs, community and individuals. At each level, different strategies are applied. Civilians need to know their neighbours and be familiar with their neighborhood so that they know when strangers come into their community. They need to know their community head or his representative and Emergency Numbers which could be a toll-free emergency number or phone numbers of security agencies in their community.”
On how to know when hazardous substances get into the community the don guided that the first step to safety is recognizing unusual phenomenon or persons in the community. He proffered observing strange people or phenomenon in one’s community; reporting unhealthy development to relevant authorities; forming or joining the Local Vigilante Group since the Police cannot be everywhere and teaching the young ones good manners as some of the practical ways in which civilians can assist in curbing insecurity in Nigeria.
From left, Evang. PC Alika, Prof Iguisi, Rev. Fr. Sebastian Vincent and Mr. Cyprian Edacha
Representing the Ahmadu Bello University Chief Security Officer, Mr Edacha Cyprian of the institution’s Security Division added that seeking the peace of one’s neighbours and respecting their rights; as well as proper mentorship as other ways of achieving the same aim.