General Security for us girls

Written by Oladotun Togun

Hello All,
A lot of times, we are tagged or labeled the weaker sex, who says so? We have Hilary Clinton, We have Oprah , We have Laila Ali, (Mohammed Ali’s Grand daughter), we have The Queen of England (Saving the best for last).

But what we don’t have is the Secret service guarding Hillary, or the huge private Security firms supporting Oprah, neither do we have Laila’s right upper cut, nor the entire commonwealth ensuring the Queen’s safety.

But, these little things we can do to make sure we are aren’t the sitting ducks if ever we are in any situation:

Let’s start with home:

  • Ensure we do not entrust the locking of doors to domestics. Most times they are the inside person (s) to crimes.
  • Let’s keep our Jewelry, cash and other valuables out of site from domestics. And rather than send them to places where we hide them, because we trust them, and they have been with us for a long time, w trust them. 
  • Rooms should be cleaned when you are around. Truth is , they might be very truthful, honest and loyal, but the constant sight of some form of affluence, even a full wardrobe of Ankara’s and beautiful sequenced gowns could be the turning point.
  • Do we have pictures of domestics? And how do you get their pictures without asking for a passport photograph? On maybe their off days or days they are going for an outing, coerce them by saying wow, you look nice and saw, I would take picture of you, go and stand beside the car and pose. That way, one has an extremely recent picture.
  • With domestics, also ensure some form of background check is done. How is that done? A security company could do that for you. What tends to happen is that we know of a friend who has had a help for a while, and ask for her “Agent” and that’s all the referral we would ever do.

In Transit: While in transit, driven and driving:

  • Most of us always have laptops with us, it is suggested that at ALL times laptop bags should always be in the trunk of the car.
  • Our bags are really expensive, Louis Bags, channel purses, and Gucci bucket bags. But it’s always advisable to have them on the floor of the car and closed. Street hawkers mostly under the guise of selling, peer into the cars and see bags with purses and loose cash, personal effects, phones and so on could rub you blind while pretending to sell recharge cards and other items to us.
  • As soon as we get into our cars, we should ensure our doors are locked. This would deter unwanted entry into our vehicles, such as people like traffic police and LASTMA officials.

Dealing with Law Enforcement Agents

Dealing with untrained uncouth Law enforcement agents who see us a meal tickets, because they feel we are helpless.
  • As stated above, as soon as we get into our car, always lock up .
  • When stopped by LASTMA, Police, VIO (The guys in yellow and black uniforms) they already believe the worst of us. Oh, spilt daddy’s girl, or aristo chicks. How can she ever afford such a vehicle. (Lucky for some, we have official cars)
  • Always be nice and polite. Start the conversation with , Oga Emmanuel, or Chief Chidi , how are you today? (Their names are ALWAYS on their breast shirt pockets).
  • If they are being unruly or unnecessarily difficult, be polite and call a male counterpart, sibling Husband or Father.
  • NEVER as a rule of thumb let any Law enforcement Agent get into your car. Always remember, be POLITE AT ALL TIMES.

New Accommodation

When we move into a new location, we mostly just take things for granted that everything is safe.
  • Make sure the first thing we must do is change all the locks. All doors leading into and out of the flat/house/apartment. There was a story of a youth copper who rented a flat in Northern Nigeria. She had no issues until one day, late in the evening; a man opened the door using his own set of keys. When she had calmed down from the fright, it was found out that the male visitor had lived there three years previous, and he still had the key. And he was in town for some business, and decided to try his luck if his old place was still available.
  • Always keep spare keys with trusted friends and family in the neighborhood.
  • Please keep house and car keys separate. Just in case you loose one, you wont be left stranded.

While working out

Go girls, we all look awesome when we work out. Burning and looking trim, but there are some faux pas we should avoid
  • Working out with Jewelry, big rings, big chains etc. This is a NO NO. We don’t want to be the victims of petty thieves who would attempt a snatch and grab.
  • Always have our mobile phones with us and the last dialed person to be someone who can respond to emergencies, be it medical or otherwise.
  • Ensure someone knows your exercise route.

Lets stay safe girls.

About the writer

Oladotun Togun is a Security Professional with noteworthy security expertise spanning over 15 years. He has 10 years management level experience in various industries ranging from Telecoms to Finance and Manufacturing. Dotun writes for Sitrep Nigeria - a consortium of organizations who are keen to reawaken community policing and ensuring safety of lives and possessions. Through their online portal, they collect data as well as organize and disseminate useful information about the state of security in the nation.