Today, I was impressed by the prompt response and proactiveness of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Adoza Yahaya Bello when he called State Security Stakeholders Meeting comprising of Monarchs and Local Government Executives in Lokoja, Kogi State in response to disturbing reports of insecurity in Kogi State.

 

Before now, due to the efforts of the Governor through the State Vigilante Service and the Governor’s partnership with the Federal Police and Military Formations in Kogi State, the State had enjoyed enviable peace in the North Central. However, following the Kuje Jail break, few incidence of insecurity have been recorded.

The Governor believes that Security and welfare of the people is the primary purpose of government and that every Government must tackle the issue of security headlong.
As result, he appreciates the role of the Monarchs, traditional rulers and chiefs, religious leaders, the political class and even the people in ensuring enduring peace in the State. That is why His Excellency has expended alot on Security and has continued to liaise with the locals to ensure security of lives and property within the State.

However, after admiring my Governors zeal to secure the life and property of the people. I realise as one who has being part of the nation’s constitutional making process, make bold to state that except there is a Devolution of power that favours increased power, functions and resources for State, it will be extremely difficult for My Governor and likewise his colleagues to secure the life of people in their States(Local Government inclusive).

By virtue of section 214 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and section 7,8,9 of the Nigerian Police Act 2020, there shall be only one central police and it shall be under the Command of the Inspector General of Police who is subject only to the President.

Also item 45 of the Exclusive Legislative List makes the Nigerian Police and other government Security services a matter within the exclusive preserve of the Federal Government.

A central or unitary police is too constrained to tackle the hydra headed insecurity situation in Nigeria. Most of the insecurity issues are localised and are best tacked by formally trained police and security personnel who know the terrain in the State(terrain of crime).

In my views State Governors in a Federal System of Government must have its own Police Force( to maintain law and order and arrest criminals and investigate them), have its own Prison Facilities to detain suspects and criminals and well equipped courts to prosecute and adjudicate on insecurity cases.

As a result, I call for the Devolution of power in Nigeria, and further constitutional amendment to thinker with the 68 items in the Exclusive Legislative List and make some items like Police and Government Security Agencies, Arms and ammunition, mining, electricity items within the preserve of States to enhance Security.

Also, due to the increased responsibilities of States, it shall become imperative that States as Federating Units have increased control of natural resources whilst they pay royalties to the central government.

This way, life and property will be better secured, impact of governance will be better felt at the local levels and the unhealthy agitations for power amongst the ethnic minorities and minorities will soon become a thing of the past.

As stated earlier, Devolution of power is sine qua non to a peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.

Karimi Sunday Steve


By joshua

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