Editorial comment – Options after the brawl

Police Chief Operations Officer Abdul Khan during their meeting with youths at the PRB Flats in Mead Road, Nabua. Picture: ATU RASEA/FILE

THE revelation that some residents of Sukanaivalu Rd and Mead Rd housing in Nabua now live in constant fear – to the extent that some were now arming themselves is a concern.

Nabua Methodist Circuit pastor, Reverend Saiasi Qalica said this in the wake of the violent and bloody brawls during the Easter weekend.

If this is true, then it is a major concern and must inch out a concerted effort to bring things back to normal in the neighbourhood.

But what ‘normal’ you may wonder.

Mr Qalica claimed that despite the increased presence of members of the Fiji Police Force, residents still lived in fear.

“I have heard that some youths and even young children carry sticks and even knives with them when they go around the community, to protect themselves in case something happens,” he claimed.

He claimed there was a sense of insecurity and doubt over the issue of safety.

He said it painted a bad picture of the community. Now that’s not a good way to describe Nabua.

But should this be the reality on the ground, than there has to be some serious soul-searching.

This is the same neighbourhood that once produced a host of national 7s rugby stars.

This is the same neighbourhood that produced a team that once dominated the 7s scene some years ago, and inched out great pride around the country.

Mr Qalica said the proper way to resolve the issue was to get the support of the entire community to get behind the reconciliation process.

We agree with this. In fact the residents must unite behind the police and stakeholders intent on assisting them bring things under control.

We agree that this is a major issue that needs to be resolved and it cannot be swept away.

For whatever it is worth, the key elements here remain the youths, than there are their parents and guardians.

How the base is addressed is important. That would mean discussing issues that form the heart of the rebellious nature of affected youths.

We realise that a person of interest is now in police custody following the brawl.

There is a critical part of the equation that must be balanced. And that involves all stakeholders.

There has to be a united front. There has to be a willingness to discuss and resolve differences.

That is a massive challenge on its own. How this is done will be viewed with keen interest.

But there can be no room for thugs in the changing dynamics.

Any change will have to account for thugs being appropriately dealt with.

It is tough, but that’s just the way things will have to be done to bring about peace and security to the neighbourhood.

The police need our support. They need us to be on the same wavelength as them, to ensure lasting peace, and subsequently safety in our own homes.

Surely the onus will also be on stakeholders to look at economic considerations, and review any underlying issues that should be dealt with as well.

We should look forward positively.

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