EDITORIAL- Arrest warrant- A word for our nation’s security outfits

EDITORIAL- Arrest warrant- A word for our nation’s security outfits

In advanced climes, arrest warrants are not issued against citizens without the issuing body exhausting all available channels to get the persons involved invited to explain the reasons for being needed.

Security agencies all around the world work under immense pressure especially in the light of deteriorating security in many parts of the globe.

That they will need the attention of one or two persons once in a while to assist in their arduous task of keeping peace is understandable.

In Nigeria, the issue of security requires that our security outfits engage citizens frequently to ensure that they carry out their constitutional mandates.

What is not acceptable of course is the flouting of civility and requirements of the law to carry out this duty of keeping Nigerias safe.

Recently, three Nigerians, one in exile and two others based in Nigeria hit the headlines when the Nigerian Army declared them ‘wanted’ on Twitter for reportedly keeping vital information from them concerning the debilitating activities of the dreaded Boko Haram sect in the North East.

One of them, a journalist named Ahmad Salkida has constantly had confrontations with the army over his perceived closeness to the sect which has seen him get exclusives from the insurgents in time past. Salkida, with his family members has had to flee the country of his birth to the United Arab Emirates over reported threats to his life for his insistence of not disclosing his sources in the sect due to his professional ethics.

He has since replied the army authorities that he is willing to come back from exile as soon as possible if they would provide him with a flight ticket!

The other, Ahmed Umar Bolori a prominent personality in Maiduguri is believed to be close to senior military officers hence the ease through which he could have been contacted, many believe.

Aisha Wakil, the only female in the team of wanted persons in her reaction said she had always made herself to the army in the past when she consistently reached out to them to assist in curbing the menace of the insurgency.

Bolori in a post on his Facebook page a few days ago said he had received several calls, that the Nigerian Army has declared him and 2 others wanted.

He lamented the fact that he had not been contacted even though the army knew how they could reach him.

The army in defending its position said it was relying on the relevant laws of the land and in particular the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 (as amended) where Nigerians could be punished for failure to disclose information about terrorists or terrorists’ activities.

However, we at Aljazirahnews believe the matter could have been handled better by the army, which has been praised in recent months by the nation for its professionalism in curtailing security threats across the country.

Why did they not invite the trio first before declaring them wanted, is a question that many would want to ask. The question is particularly pertinent in light of the fact that they reportedly knew how to get in touch with the three.

The normal thing would have been to contact them first at their known addresses that they were needed for interrogation. If they failed to appear, they could still have used the media platform to declare them needed for interrogation.

If they had failed after then, it would be perfectly understandable for the army to wield the big stick by declaring them wanted.

Taking the third step before the first two was abnormal and perhaps accounted for the expected public backlash the army received in recent days.

The army is not left alone in this act of abnormality.

The Police, Department of State Security, DSS and a few other security outfits have been known in the past to throw caution in the wind by needlessly declaring citizens ‘wanted’ before doing the needful.

We condemn these actions and urge our security outfits to desist from such henceforth!

The army, police and indeed all our security establishments have been known to perform creditably well in the comity of nations especially in peace keeping missions. For these they are always commended globally particularly for their professionalism and prowess.

We cannot afford to have them ridiculed by the world for engaging in these unwarranted emotional assault on the citizens they are paid to defend!

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