When my father was still in the service of the Federal Ministry of Finance, where he held sway as an accountant at the accountant General Office located at  Obalende, Lagos, as a kid, I did not understand why a man would leave his house every morning, tie his neck with a colourful rope which the white man call -tie, and also tie round his stomach a flat rope which the same white mama calls – belt, adorned in a long trouser and short sleeve shirt and each day he leaves the house in a boisterous  health only to come back complaining of being exhausted, and he would tell us the family that work  that day was very hectic.

Those were the days when hard work paid, when bribery was a taboo. When workers kept an eye on each other like intelligence officers, monitoring and reporting their colleagues who live above their means of livelihood. In those days workers lives and retires with his benefits and were satisfied. I never get to understand this better until I got involved as a worker- Journalist, reporting crime and security for a national newspaper called –National Concord, now defunct. Then, each blessed day was full of its own stories of levels of exhaustion. The painful part of it all is that many young men and women get so engaged to the extent that they forget that a word known as retirement exist in the lexicon of service. Of all the babies of the federal government, the security agencies are the worse hit with what I describe as planlessness by officers towards their exit date, apart from the previous lack of plans by the federal government for retirees in uniform.

It is often a sorry sight to you see a retired police officer looking haggard like a kwashiorkor patient. Those that plan for retirement days are like the wise five virgins in the holy book who managed their income wisely while those who find it difficult to keep their soul together after retirement are like the unwise and foolish virgins. In the police Force, from the day one is enlisted, one need not be told that each unfolding day as he or she toils, draw one closer to the D-day of retirement. Many officers forget that there is an end to the goodies that people bring to their doorsteps while they were still in service and they get carried away in the euphoria that life in uniform is an unending road.

The day my father retired from the government service, he told me that “Retirement is like a plate of jollof rice, each spoonful you eat decreases the content of the plate.” Officers that bear in mind that the first day they got enlisted into the force is an indication that their retirementclock has started clicking and it would be wise for them to start planning where they would retreat back.

One major handicap is having a shelter above their head and their family and the second is empowering themselves while in the service by learning a profession they can fall back on after retirement. No wonder not many have been able to chart a way for themselves in the area of knowing what to do after retirement. Many retire to be common security officers. I met an Assistant commissioner of police who could not find a job after retirement only to fall back to teaching in a private primary school, all in a bid to make ends meet. The police officer is fully equipped to be whatever he wants to be in life.

Security Common Sense

Sense is intelligence in its absolute meaning of it, but common it is something that is regular. I have gone this length to explain those two words so that we can understand the flow of this special article. Common sense can therefore be described as a regular intellect that many do not consider necessary. No wonder in our native parlance we are used to making refrence to a local villager  who exhibits rear intelligence as one endued with common sense.

The sense that is common is that sense that is negatively jesttisoned by the ivory tower academia, it is the sense that is not included in the university  curricular and which the university graduate could not comprehend. These are bits and pieces of intelligence that many do not pocess and cannot be procured in the open market.

(To be contiued)


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Easter Security Hint

In Nigeria, the word burglary is synonymous with what the police describe as “House-Breaking” and without relying on any official statistics, only a visit to a police station and then to any neighborhood, the story one frequently hear is the pathetic stories of how hoodlums find their ways into a building or flats and cart away their belongings, most times, electronics, laptops and mobile phones. You will from this column learn from a well researched and educative methods of preventing such crime. It has been noticed that certain crime have the same methodology in their operational procedure while there are some that.

It is the environment that dictates the way the crime is carried out. Most times, methods of operation are emulated or what I refer to as photocopied crime. In this edition, we shall look into burgulary and what individuals should do. Burglary victims often wonder why the burglar picked on particular  house.

To find out, you need to consider: “How does a burglar’s mind work?”Burglary, on the whole, is an opportunist crime. A burglar will select his target because it offers him the best opportunity to carry out his crime undetected and with the fewest number of obstacles in his way.

For instance when the side gates are carelessly flung open thereby creating easy access to burglars. When windows are left open when no one is in the house. Most houses that are fenced or walled are seen as inaccessible but when ladders are used for a particular purpose but is carelessly abandoned resting on the wall, this will help in allowing intruders access into an otherwise inaccessible windows. There are fences or walls whose hedges are not well trimmed that prevents natural surveillance. This loophole makes access to the building far simpler and is an indication to the prospective burglar that it’s worth a second look.

Residents of multi occupancy dwellings or flats should be mindful not to grant entry to people via an entry phone system, if they do not know them, and to be cautious of people seeking to ‘tailgate’ them into buildings. It is advisable that gates to blocks of flats should be locked and each tenant with their own keys while the back gate is permanently locked.

When you travel, ask a neighbour or friend to pop round to clear your letter if going out after dark, draw the curtains, leave some lights on and a radio box or anything on your doorstep.

(To be continued)



Security File wish’s to congratulate princess Aisha  Manko daughter of the Giyan of Nupe kingdom In Niger state An avid reader of security file who was recently called to bar  Last Tuesday.