INSECURITY: Safety tips to observe during the festive period

IT is common knowledge that the end of the year brings heightened fears of various crimes and increased insecurity risks.

During this time, many people want to achieve certain things before the year runs out, which brings about pressure that might lead to insecurity.

Also, preparations for festive periods make people take a break from work to be with families and loved ones, thereby increasing traffic and likely insecurity.

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Jamiu Chinda, an Uber operator, in a chat with The ICIR on the state of insecurity during this period, said he tries to close early these days to avoid being caught in the chaos.

Chinda, who operates in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) disclosed that, in recent days, some of his colleagues have been victims of armed robbers who robbed them of their earnings, mostly at night.

“An Uber driver dropped off his last passenger around Mabushi around 11:00 p.m. and was robbed on his way home. His money and phones were forcefully collected.

“I try not to stay beyond 8:00 p.m. these days; it is not advisable at all. People are desperate during this period, and things are hard. Let people keep safe.”

A motorcycle rider, Ibrahim, said he almost lost his bike and life in the Bwari area of the FCT when he was attacked by men who appeared suddenly from a dark spot with cutlasses and other dangerous weapons.

These are a few examples of cases of insecurity that come with festive periods.

Confidence MacHarry, an analyst with SBM Intelligence, offers some tips on how to stay safe during this period.

According to him, to avoid being kidnapped, watch out for unregistered vehicles, avoid travelling on distressed areas and roads, or get a bulletproof car if you can afford it. 

He added that to avoid kidnap, one must avoid the temptation of falling into a routine habit that might make a database of one’s movements a ready source.

On activities of ‘One-Chance robbers’ (criminals who pretend to be commercial vehicle operators and rob passengers in the vehicle), MacHarry said anyone could fall prey to them. “One has to be vigilant about one’s surroundings and observe the driver’s antics to avoid it.”

MacHarry said the first rule of cybersecurity still holds per fraudsters on the prowl: avoid clicking on insecure sites and report any data breach as soon as it happens.

He advised everyone to avoid leaving bank transfer transaction messages and emails on their phones or devices. 

“Delete them immediately they come in, for security reasons.”

A security expert, Moses Ologun, also offered some safety tips for the festive period.

– Stay alert and report any strange occurrence or individual to the appropriate authorities. (See something, say something).

– Avoid flaunting your personal belongings outside.

– Avoid staying outside at odd hours, that is, the wee hours of the morning or late at night.

– Be conscious of your immediate environment.

– Always keep your loved ones updated about your present location.

– Do not walk alone on lonely paths or in an environment you are not familiar with.

– Keep your doors locked at all times.

– Try knowing who is at the door before you open it.

– Call a trusted friend or relative if you cannot help staying out late, and, if possible, have them come to go home with you.

– If you come under any attack, do not try to struggle with them.

 – Do not welcome strangers or those you have little information about into your homes.

– Do not give personal information about yourself or families on social media.

– Equally, while driving on the road, avoid taking alcohol or receiving calls. 

– Focus on the road as much as possible while driving to avoid an accident.

 – Avoid driving recklessly, and make sure you wind up the car glasses before leaving.

 – Also, avoid dangerous routes with no checkpoints or security agents.

– It is ideal that before one steps out, let one member of the family knows where you are going and be careful not to disclose your destination to friends that are not trustworthy. 

– Always endeavour to be your brother’s keeper. Keep tabs on the whereabouts of your loved ones at all times.



    Chinda, while offering tips on ways to avoiding falling victim to fraudsters who pretend to be businessmen to dupe passengers in vehicles, noted that only greed can make a stranger to get interested in a phoney business that they did not know anything about.

    “Avoid them. Pay attention but do not show interest in what they are discussing in the vehicle. Request to drop immediately from the vehicle and scream if they fail to stop.

    “If you enter a One-Chance vehicle, do not argue with them, just cooperate and try to get the vehicle number if you can.” 

    Another salient safety tip to observe, according to the experts spoken to, is to try not to reveal your location or details with which you can be tracked.

    A reporter with the ICIR
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