ABUJA – Mitigation of vexed violence and insecurity, currently spreading fast in Nigeria, appeared in the horizon, as Senate organised Security Summit took a definitive stand on the urgent need for State Police establishment in the country.
The summit which was attended by security experts, state governors, federal legislators, serving and retired security chiefs in the country among otherd, also declared that open cattle grazing has become unfashionable.
Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Godswill Akpabio in his chat with journalists, explained that the summit was “all about the safety of all Nigerians including the fulani herdsmen”.
He noted that “there is a commonality of ideas”, where it was agreed that “the security system should be decentralised”.
“It should be moved to concurrent list so that the states could have their own police; there should be devolution of power”
He noted that with the current population growth and advancement in education and technology, the present arrangement could not sustain country’s economy.
Accoding to him, the usual cattle routes are gone, normadic life is now in the past, we have to modernise the system, and this requires a total package – education, accommodation, cow feeds, and other amenities” stressing, “it is certain that normadism has to disappear”.
King Diete Spiff, who also attended the summit disclosed that half or do implementation of democratic systems of government should be done away with.
“If we prefer American democracy, let’s go with the American system all the way, if it is British system we want, then let’s go with British”.
“On State Police, some persons argued that the governors could convert them to private army, but, there are so many private armies already
There are so many faultlines in our security system, the Navy should be in the deep sea while we have the coast guard,
Food security should be addressed through marketing board, and fuel stations established in the creeks.
Roles for traditional rulers should be introduced to the Nigerian Constitution”, he noted.
Also fielding questions from journalists, Alhaji Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari, Chairman, Nigerian Governors Forum and Zamfara State Governor corroborated Sen. Akpabio and King Spiff. According to him:
“The first primary responsibility of government anywhere in the world is to ensure that the lives and properties of citizens is protected.
There has been so many challenges in Nigeria for the past 10 years, ranging from Boko Haram, cattle rustling, armed banditary, militancy in the Niger Delta dwindling economy and even threat to the unity of the nation.
The take home from this summit is that the Vice President raised some of the key discussions on the 17 of August about the issue of state police.
The state police is something we have agreed during the constitutional amendment but at a later time when the Forum divided into two, some governors played to the gallery, which is unfortunate.
Today, we have reiterated the position of the Vice President on the security summit we held in August that there is a need for state police.
We can say it is only the answer. The police of today are inadequate. So, if we look at the ratio, it is far below international standard.
Therefore, we in the Forum agreed that we can find a way, that we can fine-tune the issue of State police.
QUESTION: Some governors are saying they can’t afford it. What’s your reaction to that?
ANSWER: That is why we are saying that it is not all the states that are supposed to have state police.
Those that can, can have it. For instance, Lagos State, as rich as they are, can have state police.
The Federal police in Lagos, they can reduce the number to Osun, Ogun and other states that cannot do it.
If Rivers State can afford it, the number of Federal police can be redeployed to Cross River and other neighbouring states like Enugu that cannot do it.
If Kano State can do it, they can take to my state that is not all that richer.
It is something that we can’t take up at the same time and land at the same time”.
The 2-day National Security Summit organized by the Senate, to review the current security infrastructure in Nigeria, was a strategic collaboration amongst all arms of government.
The Summit was also attended by the Presidency, Security Chiefs and heads of Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
However, in a statement signed by Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan, “the successful Two-Day event served as an opportunity to survey the nation’s current security situation and to place all issues on the table in an effort to find short and long term solutions to the nation’s security challenges.
Important assessment briefings were provided by the heads of security and intelligence agencies.
Summit presenters and attendees focused on the areas of weakness that should be strengthened and the various assets at the Federal government’s disposal, particularly, ways to strengthen security through the deployment of assets.
The primary purpose of the Summit is to reassure citizens that all arms of government are serious about addressing insecurity and are working collaboratively to find solutions.
Out of the whole-of-government effort, Nigerians can expect a higher level of security to protect lives and property.
The Summit wishes to express its appreciation to all participants for their valuable contributions to the Summit’s success.
Nigerians can expect more positive collaboration of this kind between the Executive and Legislative Branches of government.
Further, the Senate looks to use the data and information from the proceedings to improve the security sector through legislative interventions and advocacy”.
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