Governors of the 36 states of the federation yesterday announced their endorsement of state Police, saying it is the only answer to the flurry of insecurity in the country.
Specifically, the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) declared that the formation of state Police by the states of the federation is the panacea to the current security challenges in the country.
The forum, however, noted that the establishment of state police is optional since not all states can afford it for now, given financial constraints dogging some state governments.
The issue of state Police had continued to reverberate in the polity in recent times, with most Nigerians insisting that is the only lasting solution to the current security challenges in the country, including herders/farmers clashes and other forms of killings.
The President Muhammadu Buhari administration gave an open backing to the idea last week Thursday through Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the opening ceremony of a two-day Security Summit organised by the Senate in collaboration with the executive arm of government which ended in Abuja yesterday.
Chairman of the NGF and Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari, who spoke to journalists at the end of a session in company of his Adamawa State counterpart, Jibrilla Bindow, said the idea of the State Police was long overdue.
He added however that given the financial realities in some states, the idea might not take off in the 36 states of the federation at the same time.
Yari noted that Zamfara State, with a population of about 4 million people, currently has a Police Force of 5,000 personnel, a figure he described as inadequate.
Declaring the governor’s endorsement of state Police, the NGF chairman said, “Today we have reiterated the position of the vice president and the position of the security summit we held in august that there is a need for the state police, we can say it is only the answer.
“If we can put the structure of judiciary to the Police, definitely we can make a huge difference in terms of security. It is not all the states that are supposed to have the police. It is those that can be able to have it. It is something we cannot take off with at the same time. We were created differently”.
On its part, the Senate said the proceedings of the two-day summit would be used to improve the security sector through legislative interventions and advocacy.
In a communiqué signed by the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan, who is the chairman of the Ad-hoc ommittee on the review of the current security infrastructure in Nigeria, the Red Chamber said the event served as an opportunity to survey the nation’s current security situation and place all issues on the table in a bid to find short and long term solutions to the security challenges.
The communiqué noted: “Important assessment briefings were provided by the heads of security and intelligence agencies. Summit presenters and attendees focused on the areas of weakness that should be strengthened and the various assets at the Federal government’s disposal, particularly, ways to strengthen security through the deployment of assets.
“The primary purpose of the Summit is to reassure citizens that all arms of government are serious about addressing insecurity and are working collaboratively to find solutions. Out of the whole-of-government effort, Nigerians can expect a higher level of security to protect lives and property”.
Top security chiefs, traditional rulers, cultural groups and religious leaders attended the summit.
The national security summit sponsored by the Senate was a strategic collaboration amongst all arms of government, with the presidency, security chiefs and heads of relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government (MDAs) in attendance.
FG Will Implement Permanent Solutions To Insecurity – PMB
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari said yesterday that the federal government will implement certain policies that would bring permanent solutions to the insecurity bedeviling the nation.
The president stated this after meeting with security chiefs at the presidential villa, Abuja.
The meeting, which lasted three hours, also had in attendance heads of Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Fire Service, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigeria Prisons Service, and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
In a tweet, which he posted on his twitter handle after the meeting, President Buhari stated: “Today I presided over a Meeting of the Security Council. We fully understand the seriousness & urgency of Nigeria’s security issues and are determined to implement carefully considered solutions that will not only earn the confidence of Nigerians, but also stand the test of time.
“One of the resolutions from our Security Meeting today is that all our law enforcement agencies must take intelligence-gathering and sharing much more seriously. The Police and DSS especially have been charged to step up their efforts and capacity in this regard.
“Our law enforcement agencies must at all times stay ahead of bandits and criminals, wherever they are across the country, by efficiently gathering, sharing and acting on credible Intelligence. I am assuring that we will give them all the support needed to succeed.
“Let me also assure that all persons arrested so far, including those arrested for illegally possessing arms, will be duly prosecuted. I urge judicial officers to be alive to responsibilities in this regard, to enable the speedy dispensation of justice.
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