LETTER OF THE DAY - Free up the dons to do social good
The Editor, Sir:
I am tired of having people propose the same things every day ... dismantle the garrisons, etc. and yet we all can see that this approach does not work. It does not take a smart man to see the statistical correlation between the number of 'gunmen' and notorious gang leaders killed by the police and the number of subsequent murders that occur in that particular locale.
I want to propose the following out-of-the-box solutions.
1. Re-engage the garrisons: Let the controlled dons outlaw crime in his area - the role of the police being that of guarantors - to see that peace, law and order are maintained.
2. Let the area don act as mobiliser of social good, for example, forced school attendance; repudiation of underage sex; responsible parenting; employment by whatever means possible; control of the guns; outlawing murder, shooting, rape and crime.
3. Allow night noises on Fridays and Saturdays for free - give the young people avenues to let off their steam. The impact of such socialising will be evident in a very short time.
4. Let local impacting contracts go through the community leaders and supervise the distribution of the work and create quantity surveyed time payments.
5. Let the police investigate before arrests. There should be no random detentions; no 'tek wey', no beatings and certainly let perjury form part of the description of police corruption.
6. 'Deformalise' the courts. Let people start at opposite sides and speak their truth to the judge who will also be mediators. Use the dispute resolution process more; some people are not looking for punishment. They seek prevention and admonishment.
7. Let us all have a national ID card with photograph and fingerprint and let this be acceptable identification for all legal and government transactions.
8. Decriminalise victimless crime - why waste police time on single spliff possession, etc.
9. Use the national ID card for farm-produce purchase. Let every vendor in the market (or otherwise) show their ID and mark on their receipt for farm goods purchased; the ID and card number of the person who sold them the cow, etc. must also be clear on the receipt.
10. Let school time be extended (8 a.m.-4 p.m.) just like business places so that adults and youths are at work and play at the same time.
11. Let all prisons become centres of learning. No one leaving the prison should be unable to read and write and all should have some training in social programmes each jail should streamline their intake making note of age, education, etc. - all prison warders should be able to work as teachers.
Please note all these suggestions are at no cost, and no new crime plans are needed. They are easy to implement and break no new ground for citizen participation
I am, etc.,
DR J.V. FORD