As part of ongoing efforts to improve cohesion within the All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari has designated former Lagos State governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to lead the consultation, reconciliation and confidence building efforts.
A statement by the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, noted that the assignment will involve resolving disagreements among party members, the party leadership and political office holders in some states of the federation.
In the past months, there had been infighting in the APC in at least 12 states, prominent among which are the rift between Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje and Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso; Kaduna State governor, Nasir el- Rufai and Senator Shehu Sani; Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello and Senator Dino Melaye; Bauchi State governor, Mohammed Abubakar and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari and Senator Ahmed Marafa .
At the federal level, the APC dominated National Assembly had always been at loggerheads with the executive and some appointees of the president.
PMB Writes NASS, Withholds Assent To 3 Bills
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has written to the National Assembly conveying what he described as his irrevocable decision to withhold assent to three Bills recently passed by the two chambers of the federal legislature.
The bills are Police Procurement Fund (Establishment) Bill 2017, Chartered Institute of Public Management of Nigeria Bill 2017 and Nigerian Council for Social Work (Establishment) Bill 2017.
In a letter dated January 25, 2018 and addressed to Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara, which was read during plenary yesterday, Buhari explained that his action is pursuant to Section 58 (4) of the 1999 constitution (as amended).
On the police procurement Fund Bill, Buhari said he declined assent due to lack of clarity regarding the manner in which funds will be disbursed, as well as constitutional issues regarding the powers of the National Assembly to appropriate funds allocated to the 36 states of the federation and the 774 local government areas, which is in conflict with section 80 -82, and 120-122 of the constitution.
Outlining his reasons for withholding his assent to the bills, the president wrote: “Chartered institute of public management of Nigeria Bill 2017 – due to lack of clarity over the scope of the profession of “public management” that this Bill prohibits all persons who are not members of the Institute from practicing.
“Nigerian Council for Social work (Establishment) Bill 2017- due to lack of clarity over the scope of the profession of “social work” that this bill prohibits all persons who are not members of the institute from practicing”.
Senate Invites IGP Over Community Policing
The Senate yesterday mandated its committee on Police Affairs to invite the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, to suggest ways and means the country could actualise community policing.
The directive followed a motion on ‘the need to Post Junior Cadre of Nigeria Police Force to their States and Local Government to enhance community policing in Nigeria’ sponsored by Senator Ademola Adeleke (PDP-Osun).
While leading debate on the motion, Adeleke said the Senate is “concerned that government inconsistency in policy implementation had affected welfare of police personnel”.
He said the implication of the situation is that it is adversely affecting citizens in the society in terms of service delivery.
He stressed that it is desirous that the rank and file of the Police Force should be posted to their respective states of origin to improve and impact positively on community policing.
According to the lawmaker, this will be possible through synergising with vigilante groups and traditional rulers so as to address the current state of insecurity in the country.
He said that there had been calls for the establishment of state police to proffer lasting solution to the perennial security challenges in the country.
Adeleke added that the lapse in security was due to “ineffectiveness or outright bias of the Nigerian Police Force in carrying out their national assignment’’.
He also observed that the disconnection between the Nigerian Police and the various communities with their different cultural values and orientation created a vacuum that needed to be filled through community policing.
He stated that it would avail the Federal Police the opportunity to concentrate on its primary duties of detection, prevention and prosecution of crime at the national level.
In his contribution, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP-Taraba) said implementing community policing would help check crime in communities across the country.
Bwacha, who is deputy Minority Leader of the Senate, noted that persistent killings and other criminal activities would have reduced drastically or even stopped if the police had been working with vigilante or other community security groups.
He added that it would also help in securing and protecting communities in the country.
On his part, Senate Chief Whip, Senator Olusola Adeyeye, said, “In this atmosphere of insecurity, the time has come to promote community policing.”
He said that if the central police worked with the community police the synergy would ensure that communities were well fortified and closely secured.
In his remarks, deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary, urged police authorities to implement its idea of enhancing community policing in the country.
He pointed out that different countries had different policing architecture for the enhancement of security.
Ekweremadu, however, affirmed that “it is difficult to address the issue of community policing without first, decentralising the police to ascertain their state down to their local government and their communities”.