Governors Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, and Godwin Obaseki of Edo yesterday rekindled the clamour for state police, saying a multi-level policing system remains the best way out of the present security conundrum in the country.
They all spoke in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, at a summit organised as part of activities marking the third year anniversary of Governor Fayemi.
The summit was also attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), who was represented by his deputy, Lucky Ayedatiwa, as well as members of the business community and diplomatic corps.
Fayemi who is also the chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) said while a multi-level policing system remains the best way out of the present security challenges, the call for state police does not translate to abolition of the central police known as the Nigeria Police Force.
He said, “This request does not mean abrogation of the central Police. If you have a problem with security in Kaduna, Governor El-Rufai can easily take charge. My recent experience and many of our governors were not even palatable where we wanted to procure drones and Mr President was with us on the issue but the NSA refused us End User Certificate, but we got it one year after.
“As of now, security is on the exclusive list. Even if the federal government is ready to allow us to procure some arms, we have to sign a MoU with the Nigerian Air Force. We have to work together collaboratively, because investors consider security as number one in any state”.
Fayemi noted that his government has signed into law a bill establishing the Ekiti Economic Council to plan and implement the summit to ensure that the outcome outlives his administration.
Also speaking, Edo State governor, Obaseki, said police should be removed from the exclusive list for state chief executives to be in firm control.
“If you have businesses you have to protect them and you must have the apparatuses. Security is on the exclusive list and we are looking up to the federal government to remove it for states to take charge. We must provide facilities for the police to be able to train our local vigilante because in Edo State that was what we did. We raised a vigilante group to police our villages from kidnappers and other criminals”.
On the role of ICT in driving the economy at the subnational level, Obaseki advised that states should use ICT to recast primary education by making the children at that age to perceive computers as part of their lives.
Also speaking on state police, Lagos State governor, Sanwo-Olu, maintained that governors must have to protect investments in states, hence the need for state police.
Regretting that governors are not in charge of the security of their states, Sanwo-Olu said, “When you have investments, you would have to protect them and also take responsibility for whatever happens. The investors will rely on the governors for protection and it is sad that we are not in charge. This is the area where the federal government must look into the issue of state police”.
On how Ekiti can boost its IGR, Sanwo-Olu suggested that the state should digitalise its revenue collection process and give staff in the state Internal Revenue Service incentives to do their job without perpetrating corruption.
“You must have robust technology and ensure people don’t collect money with their hands. Make sure your money is centrally collected. Also block all loopholes. Also encourage your staff by giving them a small bonus so that they can deliver more. Ekiti has the potential to think like a country,” the Lagos State governor noted.
On his part, Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, described security as a big problem that every Nigerian should be concerned about, even as he called for a multi-level policing in the country.
He said, “We have 150,000 personnel in the Nigerian army. Police was 400,000 by the time this government came on board but has gone down to 300,000 now. We need multi-level police. Policing is local just like a unitary environment like Britain.
“Kaduna State is about 46,000sqkms in size. Boko Haram has been chased from North East by ISWAP and now occupying the North West. But if they are dislodged here, where would they go? This is why we should all be concerned.
The Kaduna governor also said that the country must decentralise the power of the National Judicial Council (NJC) to determine the number of judges a state can have.
Earlier, Vice President Osinbajo urged Nigeria governors to think out of the box and see their states as sub-nationals that can make things happen for their economic development.
Osinbajo who stated this while delivering a keynote address at the summit with the theme, “Investment Attractiveness and Economic Development: Lessons For sub-Nationals”, also said relevant stakeholders were being engaged in the national economic plan of the country to achieve common objectives for national development
The vice president who earlier inaugurated the Ekiti State Civic Convention Centre as part of activities marking the third year anniversary of Governor Fayemi in office expressed the resolve of the federal government to support states on economic ventures with which they have comparative advantage.
He said, “Though the state is within a nation, it is not a nation but must behave and function like a nation economically. States of the nation need to be thinking like a nation and sovereign state for economic prosperity and be successful. The attraction of a state was to make commerce a radical issue”.
Osinbajo who noted that Governor Fayemi’s credentials had put Ekiti at a great advantage said technology is the way to go.
He urged the state to invest more in education, health, agriculture and other sectors where it has comparative advantage in terms of facilities and personnel.
IGP Deploy 34,587 Officers For Anambra Election
The inspector-general of police, IGP Alkali Baba, has deployed 34, 587 officers for the Anambra State governorship election billed for November 6, 2021.
Speaking at a meeting with various state police commissioners and heads of formations in Abuja yesterday, the IGP said three helicopters will also be deployed for surveillance during the poll in addition to animals and other equipment.
He also said police are collaborating with sister agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure the conduct of a peaceful election in the state.
This is coming after the IGP charged officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force mobile team to be apolitical in their dealings at the election.
The IGP also tasked them to ensure professionalism and Interagency cooperation.
According to him, “I charge you to cultivate the spirit of team work and interagency cooperation, knowing that you will operate side-by-side other sister security agencies and officials of INEC.
“Above all, you must remain apolitical while being ruthless with violent elements and illguided political thugs that may wish to test our common will to deliver a transparent and credible electoral outcome. I am confident that like other operations in which you have excelled, you will not let the Nigeria Police and, indeed, the nation down in this critical national assignment.”
Meanwhile, the police in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have called on partners and stakeholders to donate patrol vans and other critical needs that would assist the police tackle security challenges.
Speaking at the handover ceremony of a vehicle donated by the Kafe district stakeholders forum to the Life camp police station, the commissioner of police FCT, CP Babaji Sunday, said the police would appreciate if more estate and stakeholders donated patrol vans to the division.
The commissioner, who was represented by the deputy commissioner of police in charge of operations, DCP Bennett Igweh said the police would ensure that the vehicle is used for the district security purposes.