State Police; Concerns, Recommendation on Structuring and Operations – Bolaji O. Akinyemi.
The only consolation Buhari’s victory in the 2015 election offered was hope in APC’s promise of Restructuring, for a nation held down by malicious military system, one that created states to the advantage of their cliques in Khaki and gave out Capital for reasons as debased as to their wives or even girlfriend’s place of birth!
Alas, our president after election manifested the traits of his military days and wouldn’t remember the promise he made to Nigerians!
Sounding this to his hearing made him develop temporary amnesia and he couldn’t remember the word restructuring nor its meaning!
Nasir El-Rufai led committee couldn’t help Buhari, with a good job done to the admiration of many who thought help was finally here, it ended as what it always is with APC, a deception to handcuff the electorate in the 2019 election!
Five years ago, precisely 2018, the year before the 2019 election, the NGF in response to public clamour for Restructuring constituted a Panel on State Police to interface with the Nigeria Police at solving our insecurity challenges.
Rising from a meeting held at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa and attended by the then Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, the governors mandated the committee to explore issues bordering on challenges confronting both the police and policing in the country.
Members of the committee who were drawn from the six geo-political zones of the country were: Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Mohammed Abubakar (Bauchi) and Ahmed Tambuwal (Sokoto).
Briefing newsmen at the end of the meeting, Yari said presentations by the IG dominated discussions in the forum, saying Idris sought the governors’ support for technology-driven policing and also made a strong case for the establishment of media outfits by the Nigeria Police.
He said the IG also expressed concern over insufficient funding for police operations, adding that he equally sought the support of both the NGF and the National Assembly on legislation on the Police Trust Fund that is currently before the legislature.
Police Trust Fund is a global practice, but the greed of our political class truncated our first attempt to lift policing through Police Equipment Trust Fund under Obasanjo. The carcass of that corruption I hope to see EFCC exume for examination in the days ahead. We must know what went wrong before another attempt will be made.
Yari further stated, the NGF committee will collaborate with another committee set up by the Nigeria Police on security matters, affirming that the findings and recommendations of both committees will eventually be presented to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo for consideration.
There have been many efforts at solving the problem of the Nigerian police vis a vis attending to our insecurity challenges but how concerted? As stated by the then IGP, police knows where its boots are pinching. The Governors know the task of securing their state under the present unworkable structure and we the people know how unrealistic it is to continue under the present arrangement.
The question is, when will Nigerians find the courage to demand for their affirmation as a people that should authorize the constitution?
When are we going to tame this rampaging bull of lawlessness of a constitution and bring the country to peace?
Yari confirmed on behalf of the NGF that they received a presentation from the Inspector General of Police wherein the IGP made a presentation to them canvassing for support to introduce media outfits, radio and television for the force, and for a technology-driven police force.
The Inspector General of Police dominated the whole of their discussions for that particular day, briefing them on the issue of policing in the system. The IGP said in some other nations, they have one policeman for every 10 persons in a COMMUNITY, but in Nigeria, we have one to 602 persons, while the United Nations recommends a policing ratio of one policeman to every 400 persons
So the Nigeria Police have difficulties with funding and they are poorly paid, which we agree that with the way things are going in the budgeting process, we will not be able to fund police. The Inspector General of Police also briefed them that there is the Trust Fund Bill which is before the National Assembly and asked for our support and members of the National Assembly, especially the House of Representatives, to get it passed in order to improve funding.
So many Nigerians and Organisations took the committee serious and went ahead to initiate intervention projects ahead of when the bill would be arriving State Houses of Assembly.
On the 8th of August 2018, I led PVC Naija to the Cross River State House of Assembly to bow to the Mace and solicit their support for the bill that would never be!
Our Federation is an aberration, lost in type to the meaning of the word. It is strange to words and the world, understood only by those whose interest it is serving at holding the ready to go South East down for the unready to grow North, keeping the itching for growth South West in the middle of the game!
That game saw the North out of power and the South West, not the South, in!
Nigeria was a British protectorate until it gained independence on the 1st of October 1960.
The process of birthing our Republic took place between 1954 and 1963, 9 years of intense debate and robust engagements. Informed arguments led to an agreement. Thus the affirmation of their agreement, *”WE THE PEOPLE”* birthed an article of union to be referred to as the *Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1963.*
In principle, an emerging world power was ready for its mission. But then came 1966 and the desire of our founding fathers to build a nation that will become the envy of the world faced the firing squad of the boys in Khaki!
But not until the wit of its words had inspired the collective deserted deserts of the Arabian Emirates who will prototype our model to birth the United Arab Emirates!
While with the Bible in our hands, we are lost in the game of religions being played for political reasons.
A nation without the Bible is fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 43vs19:
“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. (KJV).”
The deserts of Arabia is not just boasting of ways in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
The grace of the sun rises upon the most beautiful city in the world adorning the place once called a desert.
The Arabian Federation ours mentored courtesy of our founding fathers, our political class have shamelessly made their safe havens!
The desire for credibility by the Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration for which the masses are collateral for 500 billion naira loan. This plan to grant about 10% of Nigerians 53 naira daily for 6 months as subsidy palliative to cushion the effects of hike in transportation fee is for him to pursue the noble cause of Restructuring this country!
The only place 53 naira can take anyone to from everywhere in Nigeria is the Villa if it becomes necessary to occupy it till our change comes!
The notice served from the House of Assembly in Lagos shows desire of the present leadership to balkanize Restructuring and serve it in piecemeal!
What is a federation or rather Federalism?
A group of states with a central government but with INDEPENDENT INTERNAL AFFAIRS.
“Federalism actually describes a system of government where some powers belong to the national government, and some powers belong to the state government.”
It is not a system where everything is under the control of the Central Government. The abberation in our system generated the concept of devolution of power from the Central Government to the federating states whereas it is the federating states that confer or concede powers to the central for the benefit of all. But the Khaki boys jettisoned the 1963 negotiated Constitution and imposed a sectionally skewed Unitary system camouflaged, in military fashion, as Federal.
Almost, if not all federal systems comprise two levels, the federating states and the central government created by them. But in the case of Nigeria, it included the third level ie the LGA, which exposes the intent as Unitary that focuses on distribution of resources FROM the center instead of contribution of resources TO the center.
The philosophy behind this Unitary System is fully revealed during Buhari administration viz Religious imposition, ethnic subjugation, sectional domination and economic exploitation. Thus, Nepotism, cronyism became necessary tools to execute and sustain this imposed structure leading to systemic corruption, inefficiency and various agitations, to mention just a few.
Historically, a multi ethnic and multi religious state with the expanse of land and population parity can not be run sustainably under any disguise except by an authentic federal system, otherwise its stability will be compromised, growth castrated with diminishing cohesive capability.
Restructuring seems to cause uneasiness in certain sections of the Country for fear of funding from FAAC, perhaps the Niger Delta should be persuaded to guarantee unchageable distributive formula post restructuring or some sort of Political Maintenance Alimony.
This is simple, not difficult to understand and implement. Meaning informed the Federation Government of the United States of America, same for The United Arab Emirates.
Meaning, if applied to the country, Biafra can have their region or state and Oduduwa, Arewa, Niger Delta, etc can all have independent internal running; a strong region and weak federal centre! That is the meaning of a federation!
A state therefore as a region or party in a federation must have her constitution as is the case with all states, in our Federation.
In the wisdom of Political Science, any state with a constitution must have means of enforcing her law, necessitating the need for state police and of course correctional Institutions and facilities!
The Counties in the United States of America comes to mind when our local government is the picture. Do we have a legislative assembly at our local governments? Yes! Do they make laws? Yes? Can they enforce their laws? No! Our States can make laws but will be frustrated by criminals the laws are meant to check, as is the case with herdsmen and Benue State!
Then, this aberration of a federation must be aborted!
The leadership of Right Honourable Mudasiru Obasa is demanding for state police in lagos. And other states may follow through. This process should be guided to avoid the pitfalls of transferring the corruption and inefficiency at federal level to the states, especially the deployment of the police as private armies of the Executives.
National Assembly, in response to their request must factor in how majority non indigenes and other minority tribes would fair as they have now become existential fear to the political dynasties, those that are opened to economic suppression and religious threats.
Therefore, a State Police Council (SPC) should be set up, comprising membership nominated by recognised groups in the States that are vulnerable to Police abuse.
Such a body must have one representative each from the Christian Association of Nigeria, Nigerian Council of Islamic Affairs, The State Traditional Council of Obas and Chiefs, State NURTW, every Political Party that has members elected into the House of Assembly, a representative of residents from each of the six geopolitical zones of the federation, State Chambers of Commerce, Professional bodies like NBA, ICAN, etc.
Apart from the representatives of the geopolitical zones, every other nominee must be from the state, and where that is not feasible, some from the same geopolitical zone of the state in question can be nominated.
The Council will sit pro-bono, at no cost to the state government, they will elect their chairman and officers who must be indegenes while non indegenes can be ex-officio.
It will have the powers to sack and prosecute the State Commissioner of Police and officers involved in all forms of discrimination, abuse of power, ill treatment etc that are based on ethnic, religious, partisan matters, upon the receipt of genuine petition and investigation.
Nomination of persons for the office of State Police Commissioner should be done by the State Governors, and not be less than 2, with not more than 3 candidates to be sent to the State House of Assembly who will pick one.
The power to hire must be thus duplicated while the power to fire must reside in the State Police Council or whatever it is to be called.
The pattern at the local governments should follow what is obtainable at the state!
State police is the way to go in order to check the prevalent insecurity and impunity that has characterized the arrogance of those who have been above the law of our Federation because it was fashioned with their protection against the rest of us in mind!
Dr. Bolaji O Akinyemi is an Apostle and Nation Builder, Convener Apostolic Round Table, ART. Also the BOT Chairman Project Victory Call Initiative, AKA, PVC-Naija.