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General News of Saturday, 20 February 2021

Source: Today NG

Kaduna governor asks federal govt to grant state police, resource control to states

As part of efforts to address insecurity in Nigeria, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has called on the federal government to devolve power by granting governors resource control, state police and a decentralised judiciary.

El-Rufai said this during a live broadcast tagged ‘The Fierce Urgency of Now: Tactics and Strategies to Pull Nigeria from the Brink,’ on Friday, February 19, 2021.

The governor said Nigeria has failed “jealously and consistently protect its prerogatives and status as a leviathan, the ultimate guarantor of security, the protector of rights and the promoter of the rule of law.”

He said that is why the Federal Government’s power is being challenged in a “frighteningly sustained manner.”

El-Rufai said, “I would recommend the following immediate decisions and actions by the federal and state governments, with the support of our civil society and all well-meaning Nigerians. The first is to implement the three key devolution proposals that I mentioned: Give us state police now; vest all minerals in the states now; and decentralise our judiciary now, not later.

“There are certain things governors cannot do. Some of them we have alluded to by saying we don’t control security agencies. So, you are the chief security officer, but you can call the CP (commissioner of police) and if the IG (Inspector General) says, ‘Don’t talk to him,’ that is it.

“In five and a half years, as governor of Kaduna State, I have had eight commissioners of police. They are just posted; they spend seven or eight months (each) on average. Do the mathematics. Eight CPs that have virtually no say in their posting, and so on. How can you have security management if you change the frontline chief of security every eight months on average?”

The governor said there’s nothing state governor could do, adding that only the National Assembly could make state police a reality.

He said, “There is nothing the governors can do. And these senators and House of Representatives members were elected from states. Many of them got elected with our help and support, but when they go to Abuja, they can grow large heads and will not cut their hair for two years, and they start thinking something else. I had one like that; I got him out.

“We want states to have more responsibilities so that we can be held more accountable. The reason I said we need state police, a decentralised judiciary and the vesting of mines, minerals and oils in states now is because if we don’t do it this year, next year, everything will be politicised.”

The live broadcast came two days after bandits kidnapped 27 pupils and 15 workers of Government Science College, Kagara, in the Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, kidnapped on Wednesday, February 17, 2021.

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