This is not the best of times for many Nigerians as far as security of lives and properties are concerned. Nigeria's Print and electronic media are continually awash with pockets of terrorism, kidnappings, armed robbery attacks, and many a times, unnecessary show of power (arrogance of power) by some ogas-at-the-top. The rules of engagement have changed: religious leaders, elderly people, children and even pregnant women are not spared in this onslaught. If the hand writing on the wall is anything to by, wanton insecurity bedeviling Nigeria may not abate anytime soon. My postulation and inference is that the aforementioned societal ills will increase as unemployment spirals out of control. On the other hand, a flurry of negative activities will ensue as the 2015 general elections inch closer.

Since many of us cannot afford bulletproof automobiles, we need to 'do the needful' in other to protect ourselves and our properties. That is the essence of this essay. I will be sharing nuggets of information that will help us to stay safe. Now to the nitty gritty:

  1. Ensure doors to your apartments are locked/bolted even when you and your family members are indoors. Invest in good burglary proofs for your doors and windows. If possible (I know it's impossible sometimes), have a good rapport with your neighbors. They will keep an eye on your property and you will also reciprocate them. A kind of informal neighborhood watch.
  2. Be wary of letting your domestic staff- drivers, gardeners, cooks, etc be privy to your travel plans far ahead of your departure dates. Of course it is exigent you do a vigorous background check on any of these people before you bring them onboard. Only let VERY close family members know of your travel itinerary: where you are going to and your possible arrival date. You may have to program one of your close relatives phone number or that of your personal Security Consultant, as an emergency number or a speed dial such that you can swiftly dial that number without much ado if you find yourself in a tight corner. Lagos state have an emergency number (112 and 767). One wishes Nigeria has a Nationwide Emergency Number as is the case in most advanced countries. Anyway, just dial your preset emergency number even if you may not be able to talk, the good thing is that whoever is at the other end can eavesdrop and be in the know of goings-on around you. This can also help investigators extrapolate or decipher your last location through the GPS coordinate of the last GSM mast that relayed your call.
  3. Fire disasters are pretty much common during dry seasons (harmattan). A while ago, a petrol tanker was said to have exploded somewhere in Apapa, Lagos state with attendant casualties. Motorists and safety conscious home owners are hereby implored to invest in fire extinguishers. Fire/smoke alarms are also affordable these days. Ensure you unplug all electrical devices from the socket if you will be going out.
  4. Ensure your residence and surroundings are sufficiently illuminated. Unfortunately 247 electricity supply cannot be guaranteed in most parts of Nigeria but there is a way around this. The advent of solar panels and inverters means one can still power say 4-5 or more energy saving electric bulbs within one's residence at nights. Alternatively, please buy and keep any of these cheap rechargeable touch lights or lanterns within your reach at nights.

Stay safe!

Read Part II