Piqued by the raging insecurity in the south-west, state governors of the region yesterday made a strong case for the establishment of state and council police to complement the efforts of the federal police. To the state helmsmen, this is a practical response to the insecurity.
They also agreed to rise above party partisanship to set up joint patrol teams to ward off the criminals that have been killing and kidnapping innocent persons as well as check the activities of killer herdsmen that have made the highways unsafe for travellers.
The governors, who spoke at the “Stakeholders’ Security Summit for Southwestern States” organised by the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission in Ibadan, include Dr. Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Babajide Sanw-Olu (Lagos), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (Ondo) and Gboyega Oyetola (Osun).
Fayemi, who is the Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), urged the people to hold the governors accountable for insecurity in the region. He gave assurances of a lasting solution to the crisis.
“Insecurity has created palpable fear in the minds of the people. We hold it a duty to reconfigure our security architecture. We are set to harness the potential of security agencies to rid the region of insecurity.
“This crisis should unite us, not divide us. We need to focus on the root cause of the challenge. We should focus on what we can do. We don’t have to demonise any ethnic group. Security situation should be a serious concern to everybody.
“We need to reform our criminal justice system and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of all criminal justice institutions. We need a regional response to insecurity given the contiguity of our states. We, as your governors, should be held accountable for the insecurity. We will not sleep until the problem is tackled head-on,” the Ekiti governor said.
Fayemi emphasised the importance of a state and community policing system to complement the federal police: “We cannot have a unitary police system in a federal state. We must democratise the intelligence gathering. Our demand for state and local policing is not tantamount to the removal of the federal police. They will exist side by side with the Nigeria Police Force (NPF)”.