Owo terror attack: ISWAP link and call for state police

Thu Jun 23rd, 2022 - Ekiti

One of the fatigue- inspired coping mechanisms developed by Nigerians in the face of unending disasters is moving on from grim situations in record- time. The same would be said of the Owo Catholic Church massacre that sent 40 persons to an early grave on Sunday, June 5.

More seemingly important things have since happened to sufficiently steer attention away from this incident. With families left to bury their dead, premium attention is now on politics and politicking ahead 2023.

However, as with the Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, the hurried explanation by the Federal Government that the attack is typically after the fashion of Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), is not to be swallowed without questions. After all, even this bit of information is not necessarily of any comfort either to the dead or the grieving, devastated living.


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Akeredolu’s reservations about this conclusion were shared by governor of neighbouring Ekiti state, Kayode Fayemi. However, more important than his reservations about the suspected connection of ISWAP to this massacre, is again the call by the Ondo state governor for the establishment of state police.

Interestingly, Akeredolu’s cry for the establishment of state police is muffled. Too much seems to be going on at the moment for anyone to pay actual attention to the near lone-cry of a governor that a singular police command no longer works for the country.

It would also seem that rather than cry and weep for the departed, or as later seen, declare a fast to grieve their violent deaths, more attention should have been paid to an actual underlining factor that has aided the persistent insecurity bedeviling the country.

The call for state police and the unbundling of the national police force did not start today. Nigeria as a country has experimented with state policing before. This was in the early post-independence years of the country before the administration of General Yakubu Gowon centralised the policing system of the country.

Protagonists believe that a decentralised police force is a feature of true federalism and without doubt, will make it easier to respond in time to insecurity, reduce bottlenecks, better grassroots security as well as boost morale among officers of the police force.

On the other hand, antagonists are worried that the structure of state police may be abused by some state governors and may encourage secessions. It would seem that the major disparity here stems from general distrust from proponents of either sides.

Stakeholders need to find a balance between the two points of these arguments, and consider the plenty lives hanging in the balance.

Titilope Adegolu-Oniyesan

Ondo state


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source: Tribune