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Opinions of Saturday, 9 January 2021

Columnist: Dalimore Aluko, Contributor

Increasing insecurity and renewed call for state police

The recent abduction of over 300 students of the Government science secondary school, Kankara, Katsina state was really disturbing. It was a national calamity that should be condemned by all lovers of humanity. The sordid event further corroborated the reality of the failure in our security architecture and something urgent needed to be done to correct it.

The fact that this horrendous crime came at a time the Dapchi and Chibok incidents have not been absolutely resolved made the incident more frightening and created a bleak and gloomy future for our country.

Before the abductors, who had been severally linked to the dislodged Boko Haram insurgents in the North-Eastern part of the Country, shades of opinions had been offered on how best to resolve the protracted security problem in the country. Some suggested that the service Chiefs have outlived their usefulness and should be sacked. Some said there should be a serious overhauling of the security structure. Some advised that foreign mercenaries should be hired to wipe out these insurgents from our nation. All these are good and apposite suggestions, but the questions that had been reverberating on the lips of the people were that; would all these put a permanent end to insurgency? Do they really align with the reality staring us in the face as a nation? Would such bring enduring solutions or cosmetic ones? All these are issues agitating the minds of concerned Nigerians.

Since the advent of democracy in 1999, there had been virulent calls for the setting up of a security architecture in tandem with our territorial location and cultural values. A security architecture that is bottom-up and not the present one that is being absolutely controlled from the centre. These agitations brought about the suggestion that each state should be allowed to create its own police with a firm understanding of the geographical terrain and cultural values of the people for a more proactive and efficient policing system.

In the 2019 budget, the federal government allotted over N 900 billion to the security sector. Despite this humongous budgetary provision, it has failed to halt the orgy of violence causing bloodshed, maiming and kidnapping of Nigerians on daily basis. If it was true that the Nigerian army is well funded and still not getting the desired results, the country must know that the structure must truly be defective and should be rejigged and restructured. A situation whereby the governors as Chief Security Officers of their respective states can’t control the security services is discouraging and barbaric.

The governors of Kaduna and Borno states, Nasir el-Rufai and Prof Babagana Zulum respectively had openly expressed their frustrations about the puzzling level of insecurity in the North. They made it abundantly clear that they were already confused about the whole situation. With this, the people are now seriously endangered and now at the mercy of insurgents. Part of the governors’ worries had been their inability to control security in their domains despite being the chief security officers. Before the global coronavirus pandemic, the governors of the southwest geo-political Zone mooted the creation of 'Amotekun' corps, which later became a reality. The security policy was nearly frustrated owing to the fear that the security personnel could be willing and ready tools to foment ethnic crisis. As plausible as this seems to be, It does not in any way diminish the reality that has dawned on us as a nation that we needed a better structured policing system. It is an indisputable fact that no police officer, no matter how skillful, ingenious and talented can come from Borno state and has a firm understanding of Ekiti terrain better than an indigene. This is a fact and reality we must embrace as a nation and do the needful before we are consumed as a people by this orgy of killings.

Nigeria after 60 years of independence has matured enough to be restructured in every sphere. I believe firmly and unwaveringly that the creation of state police will help our current situation.

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