Boko Haram bombs almost always kill only poor people. When they hit markets, bus stations or police stations, the victims are always poor people. Even the churches and mosques the terrorists attack are those attended by the poor. It’s therefore safe to conclude that terrorists are enemies of the poor.

As the attacks on Kuje and Nyanya areas of Abuja on Friday night have shown, the protection offered by security agents is limited. Most policemen, SSS and others are more interested in guarding the rich who give them extra income than in protecting the vulnerable poor.

Are the poor ready to stay alive? Then, they should be ready to be their neighbour’s keeper. Knowing what a neighbour or a tenant does or says is one sure step in this endeavour. Privileged information greatly helped “Bakassi” to chase criminals out of Anambra State 15 years ago. Intelligence is the secret of good policing.

We have written extensively on the importance of community policing; perhaps we should come down to family and neighbourhood policing. Landlords should now be authorised to have unfettered access to the apartments of their tenants at any time. Co-tenants should also have the right to inspect their neighbours’ homes. The issue of privacy has to be deemphasised; one person’s right ends where another’s begins. Yes, the security situation should lead to that: Know your tenant. Know your neighbour. Every criminal – bomber, armed robber, kidnapper or thief – is known by at least 10 other people.

It’s about time we took a decision: fight collectively or get killed individually. Anambra has a policy of demolishing any building used for kidnapping activities or owned by a kidnapper. The entire nation should borrow from it: Landlords should answer for the deeds of their tenants caught in armed robbery or found assembling IEDs. Let the operation begin today.



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