Adopting Informal Approach to Counter Social Vices

The growing of violent crimes and other vices in our society now necessitates a non-formal approach to address the issue of protection of lives and property. In this wise, Nigerians are already embracing vigilante groups and non-governmental organization (NGOs) in areas of their residents and the adoption is gradually restoring some form of peace in communities.

Police are also encouraging the vigilante groups because of the positive roles they have played in maintenance of peace and harmony in communities and among resident.

In recent times, pockets of non-governmental organizations, under the aegis of chaplain corps, have sprang up and delving into restoration of social orders in the society. The corps is paramilitary groups and highly determined to make impact in security of people through counter terrorism and anti-cult fight.
One or two of them are already recognized in the fight against terrorism in the North and they have played their expected roles to the satisfaction of their employers. No doubt, Chaplain corps would fit into the fight to check growing criminal activities, communal fight, cultism in schools and communities and general security patrol.
In this area i.e South South, the Eagle Chaplain Corps is one of the groups that has made impact through training of its members to assist in schools, traffic and other areas they are required to maintain peace. They have provided informal approach in the fight against social vices in the society.
Despite their initial training, the corps needed to undergo regular training on modern techniques of crime fighting, according to the Chaplain-General of Eagle Chaplain Corps, Chaplain Sylvester Obi. Chaplain Obi spoke with the Heroes Writ during a recent facilitators workshop organized by the Heroes and Heroines of Peace and Unity Initiative in Asaba Delta State.
During the workshop, anchored by the Chairman of Heroes and Heroines of Peace and Unity Initiative (HEPUI) NGO, HOG: E. M. Agbor, he lectured over 150 participants on Initial Peace Security Research Exercise.
Later in an interview with the Heroes Writ, HOG said that the training and programmes of the HEPUI was certified by the office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) having inaugurated the initiative in August 1st, 2016 “as a National Working Group Member” on policy frame work and national action plan for preventing and countering violent extremism in Nigeria.
He said that as a multi partner organization the initiative aimed at keeping abreast the minds of people towards the security of their neiggbourhood and society at large by ensuring synergy of efforts of all stakeholders and individuals to work with the National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST), the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP), the Eagle Chaplain Corps (ECC), amongst others.
Chaplain Obi explained that the Eagle Chaplain Corps has since keyed into eradication of social vices and partnering with the state government in areas of traffic and environmental issues. He revealed that they were ever ready to assist schools, markets, government agencies and private establishment on issues of security and maintenance of peace.
He said that the workshop was intended to drill facilitators who will go out and train individuals on the concept of Peace Security.
On whether the corps is important in the fight against terrorism, HOG. explained that “in the concept of Peace Security everybody’s hands must be on deck. We have long allowed security to a formal approach which finds it difficult to address some of the insecurity in the country. Chaplains are significant in this circumstance because we are training this group of chaplains to in turn train civilians on the concept to assists the law enforcement agents carry out intelligent investigation. It is also geared towards informing security agencies on the concepts because if you are doing something or guiding the society on how to go about security, such approach should not only be aware of by the civilian, the Nigerian police also need to be informed on the concept”.
He continued that “in the concept of the Nigerian security, chaplain as an organization are going to play a vital role in countering radicalization since their job is to train people on how to detect insecurity while it is still in the shell, before it hatches and find possible approach on how to address it because from our concept we believe that insecurity evolves like organism evolves, so they are going to counter radicalization, religious extremism and ethnicity and bring every Nigerian to embrace peace in Nigeria”
He advised the participants to know that criminal cases in Niger Delta are either cultism or ritual act. “People don’t force people into cultism and anybody who says he was forced into cultism is lying. Youths are into cultism either through the influence of brothers or friends. So what I would tell the chaplaincy is that they should trash insecurity in their neighbourhood by seeing how they can influence people who are members to come out of it using this concept. It is believed that cultism has entered the streets of Niger Delta so if these measures are taken Nigeria will be a better place for us.
Also speaking earlier in an interview, the Chaplain General of Eagle Chaplain Corps (ECC), Chaplain Sylvester Obi, said the programme was to enhance the performance of the corps and enable them adapt to current techniques of security in the society.
He said that in line with the objectives of the chaplain corps, which include ensuring the essence of life and reproductive peace over conflict and violence and ensuring and fostering enduring partnership in peace, democracy and development, they decided to train facilitators that would go out and educate civilians on concept of Initial Peace Security Research Exercise (IPSRE) and help to restore peace in the society.
He revealed that they were ever ready to assist schools, markets, government agencies and private establishment on issues of insecurity and maintenance of peace. Some of the participant who spoke to the Heroes Writ during the Delta State Workshop commended the initiative, saying they have been exposed to modern techniques of anti-crime.

Interview with the Heroes Writ Pamphlet