By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—GOVERNORS, under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, have said the security challenges in the country were seriously affecting citizens’ safety and socio-economic development, saying they fund the police more than the Federal Government.
Speaking at the opening of the two-day Multi-stakeholders Summit of the NGF Peace and Inclusive Security Initiative, PISI, in partnership with the Centre for Democracy and Development, CDD, in Abuja, yesterday, Chairman of NGF and Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who reiterated that state governors fund police more than the Federal Government, said: “We buy them vehicles. We pay them allowances. In some cases we even buy ammunition.
“If we are to engage our military in aid to civil authority, which you will find, actually in 36 states in this country today, the military is involved in internal security operations, which really is a problem because, for me, it’s role inflation.
“Now, when you inflate the role of the security institution, beyond its primary responsibility, you also have consequences that will come with that. That may not be palatable. But that’s where we are because most Nigerians don’t trust the police. They will still come and beg governor, Governor, please, can you ask the brigade commander to put a roadblock in my area.”
He explained that the multi-stakeholders summit was designed to spark conversations towards finding innovative solutions to the security challenges in Nigeria.
He said: “Following the launch of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, Peace and Inclusive Security Initiative, PISI, in July 2021, the NGF is making efforts to create fora to share ideas on how every stakeholder can contribute to the work of restoring peace and security to the nation.
“As we already know, the level of insecurity across the country not only jeopardises citizens’ safety and means of livelihood, but also impedes the exercise of the rights of Nigerians.”
and make policy recommendations that will transform this effort from a mere gathering of like minds to a movement that will produce competent and informed stakeholders who will then use this knowledge to adequately address the security challenges faced in the different geopolitical zones of this country.
“As Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, I am happy to report that the Forum supports any effort to create a more inclusive and collaborative platform to mobilise an immediate national response to our country’s security challenges.
“As deliberations would be held in different areas or spheres of endeavour, including, the roles of security agencies, civil societies and traditional institutions in managing the security challenges across the country, it is my hope that this summit will stimulate strategic and collaborative responses among stakeholders on managing conflict and restoring peace in all parts of Nigeria.”
Governor Fayemi who noted that police had been abused at the federal level, expressed grave concern over the opposition against state policing, against the backdrop of it being abused by the sub-national governments.
Also speaking during the panel discussion, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, said: “To support multi-level policing is not necessarily the same thing as supporting state police but by simply saying that the job of policing a community should be a liaise.
“The existence of vigilantes is an aspect of multi policing. But we have not been able to get the best out of the situation, because the vigilantes have not been really treated as part of the security structure we operate. And I think that’s what we need to do.”