By Marie-Therese Nanlong, Jos
Plateau State Deputy Governor, Professor Sonni Tyoden, has said that although Plateau is not yet matured for the adoption of state police, the administration of his principal, Simon Lalong would intensify efforts at stemming the tide of insecurity in the State.
Tyoden stressed that addressing the challenges of governance would help address the problem of insecurity adding that the inability to properly manage the diversity in the country commended journalists on their role in setting agenda and educating Nigerians on government programmes and policies.
He spoke in Jos at the 3rd Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ colloquium tagged: “Insecurity in Nigeria and Agitations for Restructuring” organized to mark this year’s Press Week in the State.
His words, “We have not been able to handle our diversities maturely and this is a major threat to the success of state policing. We have to address the problem of governance first.”
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The Deputy Governor, who also commended journalists on their roles of agenda-setting and education, urged them to discharge their duties with responsibility and preach peace and harmonious coexistence to shore up development.
Also speaking, the NUJ President, Chris Isiguzo represented by the Vice President (Zone D), Wilson Bako called on the State Government to replace obsolete equipment at the State-owned media organizations to improve their efficiency.
The President expressed worry that the Plateau Publishing Company, publishers of the Nigerian Standard newspapers and Plateau Radio and Television Corporation, PRTVC, which imprinted their names in the annals of history and fast-tracked development in the North have lost its glory stressing, “The PPC was the voice of the North but now they just produce 50 to 100 copies because they are still producing using old machine meant for printing of exercise books.”
Presenting a paper on the topic of the colloquium, a Professor of Constitutional law, Dakas Clement Dakas, said that in the quest to be agenda-setters in the society, journalists should be objective and balanced in their reportage.
He noted that state policing as a restructuring approach would be successful if the multicultural and religious sensibilities of people were incorporated in the state’s security architecture.
“Failure to incorporate our complexities will make people suspect the security recipe, insecurity has taken over our space, and this is the time for action, not lamentation. Diversity management and security architecture will help in solving insecurity issues; security architecture that does not reckon with our diversity is a recipe for insecurity. It makes people feel they do not belong.”
Speaking on state police, he added, “We need to decentralize the Police but what about the funding in terms of equipment, salaries, welfare, and personnel capacity building so that guns are not put in the hands of criminally minded people?”
Discussants including the Vice-Chancellor of the State University, Professor Yohanna Izam, Professor Garba Sharubutu, and Mr. Joseph Lengmang expressed their views on the paper presented.
The event was chaired by a former Governor of Bauchi State; Muhammad Abubakar represented by a former Commissioner in that State, Umar Ibrahim and had in attendance, traditional rulers including the Emir of Wase, HRH Mohammad Haruna who is also the patron of Plateau NUJ.