Explainer

Police Chief Qiliho’s Hard-Line Approach To End Brawls In Nabua Housing Estate Justified

Mercy cannot rob justice. Those who cause trouble, instil fear and insecurity on the minds of innocent Fijians must face justice first before mercy can be applied.
07 Oct 2021 12:54
Police Chief Qiliho’s Hard-Line Approach To End Brawls In Nabua Housing Estate Justified
Police make arrests in the latest brawl incident involving youths from the Mead Rd housing and Nabua Village on October 4, 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Enough is enough! And you can’t use violence to resolve disputes.

That’s the message behind the hard-line tactics used by the Police to arrest at least 60 in the latest Nabua housing estate brawls.

The situation has gone too far to leave it to the rival fighting groups to reconcile, patch up their differences and forgive each other.

They had opportunities before to do it, but they failed.

As a result, the situation worsened, and the Police were justified in hauling in those allegedly involved to face justice.

The Police action in brushing aside suggestions that there should be reconciliation efforts initiated instead of the mass arrest was within their scope of engagement in upholding law and order, an important pillar of our young democracy.

The Police had every right to do what they did to restore peace and stability in the residential neighbourhood.

It showed they meant business, and anyone engaged in illegal activities like violence will face the full wrath of the law.

Mercy cannot rob justice. Those who cause trouble, instil fear and insecurity on the minds of innocent Fijians must face justice first before mercy can be applied.

This is a divine principle that is fair and just. It is an effective deterrent.

Our people should learn that we must face the consequences of our choice. When we choose to run the red lights the traffic cops or the cameras will book us, and we face fines or a date in court.

When we break the law or take law into our own hands like it happened in Nabua we will face justice.

If the Police failed to take decisive action in this situation it could have spun out of control into anarchy.

Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho has done the right thing.

Violence not the answer

As a small island developing state, we do not want to see the street violence that happens from time to time in large democracies like the United States, Britain, and France to name a few.

It’s democracy gone wrong when people use their rights to attack each other, burn and loot in their city streets for all kinds of reasons from hate to clash of political ideologies. To vent our anger using violence is an affront to the rule of law and must not be condoned or tolerated. If we do not nip it in the bud, it can escalate and get out of hand.

Violent tendencies are outward expressions of mental health problems which explode when they are triggered.

They manifest themselves in times of high tension, community and domestic disputes and desperation in a crisis as we currently face with the COVID-19 pandemic.

But all these challenges do not justify violence as a means of solving a problem whether it is in the home or the community.

Violence is wrong. There are peaceful ways to resolve a difference or a row.

We all have a moral obligation to teach and train our people that violence is not and should not be part of our culture. It is evil, criminal and a scourge on our society.

It brings unnecessary pain, suffering. Injuries and even loss of lives. It has caused us irreparable damage.

Parents and communities must step up

The police cannot do it alone in trying to solve the problem of violence. They have done their part, but they are like the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

We cannot blame the Government. It is limited in what it can do, and it cannot run our lives.

We must take responsibility for our choices and actions, and we cannot blame others.

It begins in the home. What values are we teaching our children and the young generation. And are we setting a good example they can emulate? It is time for parents to step up and fulfil their obligations and responsibilities.

Studies have shown that many children who have gone astray and end up in a life of crime on the streets come from dysfunctional families. We need to heed the profound words of the wise.

The greatest work we can ever do is within the four walls of our home.

No success in life can compensate for failure in the home.

When the family or the home is strong the community is strong.

It calls for a collaborative effort of community, traditional and religious leaders and parents backed by law enforcement officers.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj



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