By Henry Umoru
ABUJA- GOVERNORS of the thirty- Six states of the Federation under the aegis of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, Monday threw their weight behind the presidency on the decentralisation of police in the country.
From the left, Governor Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos State; Governor Tanko Almakura of Nasarawa State; Governor Mustapher Belo of Niger State; Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State; Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State and other members of the Nigeruan Governor Forum during the audience the President had with members of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum at the Aso Chambers, State House, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida 27/11/2017
Addressing Journalists Monday in Abuja at the end of the two- day National Security Summit organized by the Senate to review the current security infrastructure in Nigeria, Chairman of the Governors’ Forum, and governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari said that the Governors’ Forum had endorsed the idea of state police since 2015 but the division within it at that time made it difficult for them to marshal further action on it.
According to him, the Governors met later in August 2017 and reached a common ground on state police which they have now put on the table at this security summit.
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo while declaring open the Summit, had presented the position of the Presidency which stressed the need for state and community policing if the present security challenges in the country must be nipped in the bud in all its ramifications.
Professor Yemi Osinbajo who noted that every Nigerian deserves the protection of his life and property, had however admitted that there were instances where security agencies failed to properly and urgently respond to security issues, however listed some basic challenges that are presently affecting a full secure Nigeria.
The position of the governors Monday, tallies with the resolution of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on restructuring.
Yari who dismissed fears that State Police would become a weapon of coercion if left in the hands of State Police, however argued that if Governors are not doing same with State Court; he doubts if they would do that with state police.
The governor said, ” you know the issue of security is not something that the nation can play with because the primary responsibility of government anywhere in the world is to ensure that the life and property of citizens are protected. And so many challenges of Nigeria in the past ten years is ranging from Boko Haram, cattle rustlers, armed banditry, militancy in the Niger Delta is dwindling the Nigerian economy and threatening even the unity of the nation.
” For example in August, 2017, we had a summit under the leadership of the acting president then, which issues are raised by the armed forces, police different security agencies and also opinion professionals in the security where recommendations were made and they are being exchanged by the office of the National Security Adviser.