By Jonathan Nda Isaiah
In view of the myriad of security problems bedeviling the country, the clamour for state police has grown louder. All sections of the police are battling with one or more security challenges. In the North East, Boko Haram is still wrecking some havoc, in the North West, cattle rustlers are holding the zone by the jugular, in the North Central, killings by herdsmen is the other for the day. Militancy still holds sway in the Niger Delta, while biafra agitators and kidnappers hold sway in the south east. Even a mega city like Lagos is not safe from kidnappers and activities of ritualists a group a group known as Badoo terrorising Lagos residents and some parts of the South West.
Some have suggested that to solve this anomaly, state police is the only viable option at this point. The thinking is that indigenes of a particular state know nooks and cranny of the state or area and Also in villages and clans, they know each family and can easily trace perpetrators of crime.
The clamour for state police also gained traction last week when the Nigerian Governors’ Forum set up a committee to look at modalities to actualise it.
This was disclosed by Zamfara State the and chairman of Governors’ Forum, Abdulaziz Yari last week after the forum is meeting at the Presidential Villa.
According to him, the committee which has representatives from the six geo-political zones of the country and was mandated to come up with the best way of policing the country in view of the myriads of security challenges, facing it.
Yari remarked: So, they (Police) are having so many difficulties in funding which we are agreed that with the way things are going through the budgeting process, we cannot be able to fund police. So, the Inspector General of Police made us to know that there is a kind of trust fund bill which is before the National Assembly, asked for our support and that of the members of the national assembly, especially the House of Representatives.
“In our own part, we have put a committee in place. It is headed by the governors of Kwara, Imo, Delta, Ekiti, Bauchi and Sokoto to lead the committee so that they can be able to interface with the committee of Police and take the matter before the Acting President for further action. It is important for our nation.
“And as well, there is the issue of kind of state police which is being discussed and we coming with so many options which we are expecting the committee will look into and find safe way of policing in Nigeria.”
This sounds good if well implemented but knowing the kind of leaders we have in Nigeria, I am a bit skeptical about the state police. In a way, I also share the view of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, who asserted that Nigeria is not ripe for state police.
Nigeria is not yet politically mature to handle state police, with the kind of governors we have. In a country where our institutions are weak, state police will be prone to abuse and will be a handy tool in the hands of governors to whip their political opponents into line.
Take the case of the state electoral commissions; they are funded by the state governors and the results of elections in states are usually one way in the direction of the governor’s party. Last weekend, APC swept all the local government council seats in Lagos; same thing happened in Benue and Jigawa. In April, the PDP swept all the local government council polls. I will not be surprised if the chairmen of the state electoral commissions are card carrying members of the ruling party in the state.
The State House of Assembly elections is not different. The governor hand picks the principal officers and the Speaker and they are usually rubber stamp of the executive. The state legislature is practically dead as we are just waiting for the final funeral rites.
Governors in Nigeria are so powerful and act as emperors no wonder, someone who is speaker of the House Of Representatives and by ranking, the fourth man in the heriachy of government, will contest for governorship, which ordinarily is a step down. It has happened twice, with Aminu Masari of Katsina and Governor Aminu Tambuwal. That is to show you the power the governor has and wields.
Then, you now hand over the State Police to our power drunk governors. That’s an invitation to anarchy. Imagine a governor like Wike and Fayose with the state police? Without the state police, they are setting up kangaroo panels to nail their predecessors.
The governor will appoint the commissioner of police and I can bet you he will be from the governors’ tribe or religion and if he refuses to play ball, he will be starved of funds.
Let’s focus on building strong institutions which can serve as checks and balances. After then, we can now talk about state police.
Invasion Of Abuja By Cows
The serene and beautiful federal capital territory has now been overtaken by cattle. Abuja has now become a grazing route and motorists struggle for right of way with cows on major highways.
It is becoming embarrassing that the once beautiful FCT is now a cattle ranch. The last time I checked, the FCTA banned cattle grazing and street hawking in Abuja and while Abuja task force officers go after street hawkers with zeal, they look the other way when they see cows roaming round the streets of Abuja.
I remember asking on this page if we have an FCT minister and I am tempted to ask the same question again. If we have an FCT minister, has he been sworn in or resumed work?
The once beautiful capital city is turning to a shadow of itself. There is dirt everywhere; most of the streetlights are not working and the crime rate has worsened. There is no day you don’t hear about car theft in Abuja and some of them usually occur at gunpoint, especially at roads where you have speed bumps or traffic light. It has become so bad that any day you reach your house safely, you give thanks because you are among the lucky few.
When you go to restaurants, church, mosques or supermarkets and come out to meet your car still parked or not vandalised, you are blessed. Most of the car thefts happen in broad daylight and even the ones snatched at gunpoint occur at the early hours of the night between 7 and 9. If the federal capital is not safe, then we are all doomed.
Please, if you see the FCT minister-I heard he is dark in complexion, average height, wears glasses and always in white agbada-tell him to wake up from his slumber as Abuja is fast deteriorating under his watch.
Nnamdi Kanu The Clown
The leader of the indegenous people of biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, recently declared that he was offered five eastern states by the federal government but he rejected them insisting he wanted a biafra with Rivers and Benue States.
He said, “They gave me biafra in prison with only the five Igbo states; I said no, I want Benue and Rivers. Biafra is coming, there is nothing to stop it.”
When I read this, I had a good laugh and it confirmed my suspicion that Nnamdi Kanu is a deluded mental patient who needs psychiatric help fast. I also want to know the brand of weed this self-acclaimed Jew is smoking.