FG’s failings over security may push citizens to self-defence, Akeredolu warns

• Why govs can’t be trusted with state police, by Malami
• Buhari insists govt has degraded B’Haram, IPOB, others
• Police boss laments irregular pay, power failure as Force graduates 205 officers

Ondo State Governor and Chairman of South West Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu, yesterday, warned the Federal Government that its inability to secure life and property would soon leave citizens with no choice but to arm themselves in self-defence.

Akeredolu, who gave the warning while delivering the keynote address at a meeting of Attorneys-General of the 36 States of Nigeria, held in Lagos, said the police are overwhelmed.

He asked the security agency to “close shop” if Federal Government is unable to meet its equipment needs.

Akeredolu added: “The current spate of insecurity in the country leaves us with no room for equivocation on the right of states to maintain law and order through the establishment of state police.

“The growing distrust in the polity is a direct result of the disconnect between the Federal Government and the constituent units of the country. The economic adversity currently experienced in the country points directly at the defective political structure.

“A unitary system cannot work successfully in a country like Nigeria. The 1999 Constitution has been amended twice. There is another promise of further amendments arising from the manifest irregularity in many provisions.”

BUT in his address at the event, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), said governors cannot continue to agitate for restructuring and state police when they are responsible for compromise and mismanagement of the current system.

He said state governors who have taken over allocations of local governments in their states have no moral right to ask for restructuring.

Malami noted: “State police will not work because state governors would abuse it. Look at the way they treat local governments. Imagine what will happen if they control the police.”

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, however, maintained that the Federal Government is winning the war against insurgency and criminality in the country.

He said: “The Boko Haram insurgency, the Indigenous People of Biafra, Eastern Security Network, and banditry in some parts of the country, over time, which posed a potent threat to the country, had been significantly degraded and relative normalcy had returned to most towns and villages.”

Speaking during graduation of the 4th Regular Course of Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASP) at the Nigerian Police Academy, Wudil, Kano, Buhari praised the efforts of security agencies towards ensuring peace in the country.

He highlighted the negative impact of cyber attacks on the economy and social development and renewed his government’s commitment to investing resource aimed at stemming crime.

The President said: “Across the North Central and North West of the country, we have made progress with regards to stemming the tide of communal violence, farmer-herdsmen clashes, cattle rustling, and kidnapping.

“We will continue to demonstrate zero tolerance for crime and criminality. Those who take laws into their hands, who bear arms illegally and who seek to profit from a climate of fear and insecurity will be decisively dealt with.”

COMMANDANT of the academy, AIG Abdulrahman Ahmad, called for improved budget allocation to meet needs at the institution. He especially demanded the lifting of the 2019 embargo on recruitment to bridge manpower shortage.

Ahmad, who lamented challenges of power failure, irregular payment of monthly stipends, environmental degradation, bad road network and others, pleaded for urgent intervention by the Federal Government.

Of the 205 newly commissioned ASPs, Buhari offered awards to the overall best graduating cadet, Babarinde Oluwatosin Rachel, a graduate of Biological Science who hails from Oyo State, and second best, Isa Abdulateef.

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