Since President Muhammadu Buhari imposed a lockdown on Lagos and Ogun states as well as the Federal Capital Territory on March 30, there have been reports of criminal activities in parts of Lagos and Ogun.
Many have expressed fear that the hardship being experienced by Nigerians might lead to more insecurity in the days and weeks ahead.
And since there are uncertainties as to when the coronavirus pandemic will be officially overcome, many people are taking measures to forestall being victims of criminal-minded persons.
An Abuja-based security consultant, Mr. Taiwo Adedoja, has noted that Nigerians must consider their personal security as a matter of utmost importance in these uncertain times.
Adedoja, the managing director /CEO of Tai Asset Global Synergy Limited, spoke at a lecture for members of the Class of ’87, Christ’s School Alumni Association Worldwide. He enjoined participants at the lecture to study their environments and be on a constant lookout for strange occurrences or individuals loitering about. He also gave out some tips.
Hear him: “At this time, drafts or cheques should be used rather than keeping large amounts of money at home. Open display of affluence, parties and other kinds of celebrations are to be shunned, as these are open invitations to criminals who may trail homes.
“Criminals have formed the habit of lurking around gates of would-be victims only to gain access as soon as anyone opens the gate. We should, therefore, ensure that there are no stalkers around before opening the gate. Any form of retailing going on with display of wares close to the perimeter of houses or gates should be disallowed. Unknown persons should not be harboured within premises and we should be sure of who knocks or rings before doors are opened.
“In the case of strange noises or sound, trace the direction of such to ascertain the cause. Do not disregard this as someone may be lurking around to perpetrate a crime when you are off-guard.
“Also, getting a trained dog at this time would be a good idea. Simple to operate alarm systems are good for use at this time. Any alarm system will be activated during any emergency or crisis. It serves as very effective deterrence because hoodlums do not like to attract attention. The noise serves as a distraction that disorients them.
“Ensure that keys to valuables such as stash of cash, jewellery are kept out of sight to avoid getting in the wrong hands. Bags, mobile phones, wallets, cameras should be hidden from sight in cars. Original copies of documents and spare keys to vehicles should not be left in the cars.
“When driving, use your side and rear mirrors to monitor traffic behind you. Be vigilant to avoid any on-coming drunken driver or criminal escaping after an operation. If you suspect being followed, drive to a police station, filling station or any other public place other than your house. When you observe strange faces around your house, drive past. Once you park, always immobilize your vehicles. Steel pedal locks are very difficult to dismantle. In heavy traffic, ensure all windows are not wound down. When you leave the car, even for a few seconds, lock all doors, boot and windows.”
Adedoja, who had been security manager for Pepsi and Sevetek Engineering, cautioned that, during the lockdown, those on essential duties, especially medical workers and journalists, among others, must keep an eye on activities at home and in the offices.
Adedoja mentioned that fire outbreaks were also prone to occur, since adulteration of fuel has become common.
“If you perceive the smell of burnt cables, trace the direction and switch off all electrical sources. Make sure fire extinguishers are serviceable at all times,” he advised.
He noted that it was important to distinguish the features of a real police officer from an impostor by looking out for the nametags which are woven onto the uniform fabric and not detachable. This will assist to identify robbers who disguise as policemen on the highway, he noted.
He advised that people should identify the nearest police station and, if possible, get necessary contacts, in case of an emergency.