Nigeria Faced by Rising Insecurity, Citizens Organize to Ensure Their Safety

Africa News


At every doorstep, Prince Wiro is greeted warmly as he makes his way through the winding alleys of Afikpo, a poor neighborhood in the southeastern Nigerian oil city of Port Harcourt.

Since Prince Wiro began organizing volunteer patrols two years ago to combat insecurity in this area, where there are no police, crime has dropped. In particular, the abuse of women and girls.

Police are often underfunded and understaffed in Africa's most populous country, which faces major security challenges, including a jihadist insurgency in the northeast and criminal groups operating in the rest of the country.

For poor communities like Afikpo, impunity is rife. But Prince Wiro is working to ensure that those responsible for violence, especially against women, are prosecuted by the authorities.

Before his group began patrolling, the Afikpo neighborhood on the outskirts of Port Harcourt was so plagued by violence that women no longer went out at night.

"In 2019, the waterfront was ravaged by insecurity," Prince Wiro recalls, pointing to the makeshift shacks to his left and right, picking his way with difficulty between the open sewers and soapy laundry buckets set in front of each house.

"But since then, things have gotten better," he says proudly.

By day, Prince Wiro works as a journalist, but in his spare time he assists several communities with the association he founded, the Centre for Basic Rights Protection and Accountability Campaign (Cebariac).

Since September 2020, the 39-year-old activist has helped the Port Harcourt police solve at least 18 cases, most of them involving sexual violence against women and girls.

"Before, we had very few organizations that paid attention to women's rights, yet they must be protected," he says.

- Field patrols -

Poor neighborhoods like Afikpo, a maze of cinderblock houses with corrugated iron roofs, are often abandoned by local authorities.

These neighborhoods, which can only rely on themselves to meet their basic needs, are not uncommon in Nigeria, where more than 40 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, according to the World Bank, despite the huge revenues from oil exploitation, especially in Port Harcourt.

Blessing Amachree, a resident of Afikpo, explains that until recently, the lack of security in the neighborhood was such that the women had imposed a curfew on themselves from 6:00 pm. Some even decided to leave the community.

"Even my son, my only child, ran away from this place," she sighs. "He said he couldn't stay anymore because of the incidents, the fights and the shootings."

As the neighborhood descended into violence, one of the community leaders, Dennison Amachree, turned to Prince Wiro.

Together, the two men worked hard to set up a vigilante group with volunteer residents.

Based in Diobu, in the upper part of Afikpo overlooking the dangerous seaside neighborhoods, the militia is funded by the residents themselves.

"The patrol tries to reduce crime, and works in synergy with the Nigerian police and other agencies," says the journalist.

The vigilante group, which wears black polo shirts with the motto "Operation Fearless" sewn into them, is led by "Commander" Prince Tijani, the owner of a local bar.

"As I speak, there are no police here," he explains. "And when the police want to go to certain areas, they call us and we go with them. We know the area much better than they do.

On duty, the vigilante group responds to calls from residents who report incidents to them.

And like the police, they go to the scene, investigate, mediate, and in some cases, physically arrest suspects.

It is then that they call the security forces to intervene," says the head of the militia, who assures us that his members do not carry firearms, but only machetes, to protect themselves.

No comments

Thank you for reaching out to us. We are happy to receive your opinion and request. If you need advert or sponsored post, We’re excited you’re considering advertising or sponsoring a post on our blog. Your support is what keeps us going. With the current trend, it’s very obvious content marketing is the way to go. Banner advertising and trying to get customers through Google Adwords may get you customers but it has been proven beyond doubt that Content Marketing has more lasting benefits.
We offer majorly two types of advertising:
1. Sponsored Posts: If you are really interested in publishing a sponsored post or a press release, video content, advertorial or any other kind of sponsored post, then you are at the right place.
Generally, a sponsored post can be any of the following:
Press release
Video content
This kind of post is usually written to promote you or your business. However, we do prefer posts that naturally flow with the site’s general content. This means we can also promote artists, songs, cosmetic products and things that you love of all products or services.
Every sponsored article will remain live on the site as long as this website exists. The duration is indefinite! Again, we will share your post on our social media channels and our email subscribers too will get to read your article. You’re exposing your article to our: Twitter followers, Facebook fans and other social networks.

We will also try as much as possible to optimize your post for search engines as well.

Submission of Materials : Sponsored post should be well written in English language and all materials must be delivered via electronic medium. All sponsored posts must be delivered via electronic version, either on disk or e-mail on Microsoft Word unless otherwise noted.
The price largely depends on if you’re writing the content or we’re to do that. But if your are writing the content, it is $60 per article.

2. Banner Advertising: We also offer banner advertising in various sizes and of course, our prices are flexible. you may choose to for the weekly rate or simply buy your desired number of impressions.

Technical Details And Pricing
Banner Size 300 X 250 pixels : Appears on the home page and below all pages on the site.
Banner Size 728 X 90 pixels: Appears on the top right Corner of the homepage and all pages on the site.
Large rectangle Banner Size (336x280) : Appears on the home page and below all pages on the site.
Small square (200x200) : Appears on the right side of the home page and all pages on the site.
Half page (300x600) : Appears on the right side of the home page and all pages on the site.
Portrait (300x1050) : Appears on the right side of the home page and all pages on the site.
Billboard (970x250) : Appears on the home page.

Submission of Materials : Banner ads can be in jpeg, jpg and gif format. All materials must be deliverd via electronic medium. All ads must be delivered via electronic version, either on disk or e-mail in the ordered pixel dimensions unless otherwise noted.
For advertising offers, send an email with your name,company, website, country and advert or sponsored post you want to appear on our website to omodjk(at)gmail(dot)com

Normally, we should respond within 48 hours.