Fighting insecurity without state police

ads

<

p style="text-align: justify;">From the dripping political and socioeconomic events in the country, it is obvious that the defective nature of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution has discouraged development in the country. It is also responsible for the myriad of problems confronting the nation. Its weak provisions have more than anything else conspired with other challenges to make it possible for us as a nation to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.

<

p style="text-align: justify;">As an instance, let us take a cursory look at insecurity in the country which includes but not limited to banditry, armed robbery, kidnapping, two things stand out. First, insecurity did not start under the current regime. Remember the kidnap of Chibok schoolgirls on April 14, 2014. But, it assumed a large scale shape under the current Federal Government. Remember also the kidnap of the University of Maiduguri lecturers in July 2017; kidnap of six aid workers in July 18, 2019; the Kankara schoolboys kidnap on December 11, 2020 among others. Secondly and more painful is the awareness that the Buhari regime is still in the habit of tackling the challenge which has morphed to the ‘next level’ with the same thinking used when it was created.

<

p style="text-align: justify;">Without doubt, the painful part is that a peep into the Federal Government (executive and legislature) reveals that it is arguably gifted with the best trained in various areas of human endeavour. Yet, they have not been able to recognise that ‘extraordinary conditions call for extraordinary remedies’ or figure out what their real responsibilities are so as to go ahead and perform them in ways that enhance the living conditions of Nigerians.

READ  Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and the royal rumble

<

p style="text-align: justify;">This failure is most visible in their inability to understand why banditry is on the increase, and why the existing police system no longer supports the original road map for crime control. Such failure is exacerbated by an utter lack of political will to challenge the basic assumptions in the nation’s constitution in order to see why creation of state police has become the only way to fighting criminality not just in Nigeria but also across the globe.

<

p style="text-align: justify;">Aside from the new awareness that globally, leadership/governance can no longer be viewed in a unitary way as such thinking is out-fashioned, if an objective analysis can replace emotional discussion regarding state police, it is glaring that there are no federal police or state police models, but there are fundamental differences between the two. While cultural and geographical homogeneity which are strong factors and advantages of state policing are lost in federal policing, state police depends on these factors and more such as historical and friendship to keep society orderly and without anarchy. This value no doubt makes productive policing without disorder. And state governments have the capacity to fulfil this obligation.



<

p style="text-align: justify;">To further arrive at the answer, one will again recognise that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), is aware of this claim. The facts are there.

<

p style="text-align: justify;">In August 2019, while he played host to the traditional rulers from the Northern part of the country led by the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, the President stated that the ongoing reform of the police would include recruitment of more hands, cultivation of stronger local intelligence and networking with communities, traditional rulers and adequate training. This in specific terms will include recruiting more police officers from their local government areas, where they would then be stationed in the best traditions of policing worldwide. Working with the state governments, we intend to improve the equipping of the police force with advanced technology and equipment that can facilitate their work.

READ  Insecurity won’t stop Covid vaccine distribution in rural areas —Ogun gov

<

p style="text-align: justify;">From his speech, he did not only underline  the importance of but also underscores the virtues and attributes of recruiting more police officers from their local government areas, where they would then be stationed in the best traditions of policing worldwide.

<

p style="text-align: justify;">Precisely, this form of security design is what the pro-state police and  restructuring advocates demand. Particularly as it is obvious that the vast majority of states can afford to equip their officers with the sophisticated security gadgets Mr. President listed.

<

p style="text-align: justify;">The next question is; having seen the usefulness of recruiting, and allowing officers work in their familiar environments, what alternative is open to the nation?



<

p style="text-align: justify;">In my view, there is no alternative to having state police that is adequately equipped and completely answerable and controlled by the state governors.

<

p style="text-align: justify;">In fact, there are two major reasons that are Buhari-specific to why the constitution urgently needs to be amended to accommodate state police.

READ  How Anambra monarch is bringing development to community

<

p style="text-align: justify;">Certainly, if providing adequate security for the masses is the government’s priority, it should be the collective responsibility of the  citizens to contribute to the success of the process. What the masses are saying, and wanting in my understanding, is that the padding of the Second Schedule of the Exclusive Legislative List, of the 1999 Constitution with about 68 items has made Abuja suffer ‘political obesity’ and needs to shed some weight via power devolution.

<

p style="text-align: justify;">As noted elsewhere, the bloated exclusive list has made our nation to currently stand in an inverted pyramid shape with more powers concentrated at the top and the base not formidable enough making collapse inevitable if urgent and fundamental steps are not taken. What the proponents of state police/restructuring are saying is that the majority of the items are too trivial for the Federal Government to handle and should serve the greater good of the people if left in the hands of both the state and the local governments.

  • Jerome-Mario Utomi, Programme Coordinator, Social and Economic Justice Advocacy, Lagos. jeromeutomi@yahoo.com/08032725374.

<

p style="text-align: justify;"> Copyright PUNCH.

<

p style="text-align: justify;">All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.

<

p style="text-align: justify;">Contact: theeditor@punchng.com
The post Fighting insecurity without state police appeared first on Punch Newspapers.

ads

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply