Says unitary policing under a federal setting an aberration
By Dayo Johnson
Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, weekend declared that the myriads of challenges bedevilling the country are not insurmountable.
The governor urged Nigerians not to despair, but take useful lessons so that the nation does not continue to make the same mistakes over and over.
Fayemi stated this at the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, Ondo State while delivering a paper titled: Re-thinking Nigeria For Future Development, to mark the University’s combined 8th Distinguished Guest Lecture and 5th Founder’s Day.
He said: “The problems are generally symptomatic of the developing nations.
“Most of the challenges the country faces in its developmental journey are part of the necessary developmental hurdles it must cross to get to the desired destination.”
Fayemi described the existence of a unitary policing system in a defined federal structure as an aberration.
His words: “Nigeria is currently faced with security challenges that include terrorism, banditry, armed robbery, ethnoreligious issues and other low-level criminality. The country’s security architecture remained ineffective because it suffers what one might call “structural obesity.
“Our political structure is something to cast a big look into; many commentators have identified the kind of federal structure we run as one of the reasons for our numerous challenges.
“There is a general sense of inadequacy and powerlessness among the federating units in the critical areas of socio-economic development.
“For example, many have asked questions as to why the state cannot develop its rail system and it has to be on the exclusive list, it is also argued that the idea of the national grid is the recipe for energy crisis that we now have.
“It is just elementary that if all of our energy sources are on the single grid, the grid is bound to suffer constant and consistent collapses and infractions.
“Why do we have a national driver’s license and vehicle licensing system when motor licenses are a municipal responsibility of vehicle inspectorate department of the state ministries of transport?
“Why do we have a unitary policing system in a federal structure? Does it not fly against reasoning that a state would have a state legislature to make its laws, the state judiciary to interpret them, but would not have state police to enforce the law.
“I have always maintained along with my colleagues in the South West Governors’ Forum that if we could trust the state judiciary to discharge justice, which sometimes they stand against those in authority, why can’t we trust the same state with the police to bring suspects before the courts?”
Fayemi, who is Chairman of the Nigeria Governor’ Forum listed the problem of nationhood and slow economic development as the two major problems facing the country, saying Nigeria has remained a deeply divided country along mainly ethnic and religious boundaries.
On stomach infrastructure, Fayemi said: “The concept of stomach infrastructure was espoused by a barren political demagogue, indeed, the confused intellectual arm of the society even found justification for the ridiculous idea until it became clear to everyone that it was a bit of nice idiocy.
“We cannot continue to remain festooned to the politics of tokenism; our politics must be defined by a grand understanding of contemporary problems and the capacity to see it to the future.
“We need to draw away from the politics of antagonism based on the social attributes of the individual. Our political thoughts should motivate critical debates on economic policies centring around national institutions and anchoring on decent engagements.”
In his remarks, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State said expressed surprise that Nigerians generally were not interested in the development of the nation adding that we should not permanently refer to ourselves as a developing nation.