By James Ogunnaike
Abeokuta—Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that creation of state police would be a better option than community policing in fighting the growing insecurity in the country.
Obasanjo stated this, yesterday, when the leadership of the National Association of Ex-Local Government Chairmen in Nigeria paid him a courtesy visit in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, the visit was led by the pioneer National Chairman of the association, Albert Asipa, the Ogun State chapter Chairman, Shoyemi Coker, Chinwe Monu-Olarewaju, (Delta State), and the traditional ruler of Odogbolu, Oba Toye Alatise, Gbegande of Ososa, a former chairman of Ijebu-Ode Local Government Area, Ogun State, among others.
Obasanjo, who commended the initiative behind the formation of the body, said that the development clearly showed that some local government chairmen in the country were better than even the top elected leaders.
The former President, while responding to one of the speakers, Monu-Olarewaju’s submission on creation of community police to curb the wave of insecurity, noted that the idea needed to be changed.
“Our situation in Nigeria concerns everyone, particularly, the case of terrorism. The case has gotten over the issue of community police. It is now state police. It is from that State Police that we can now be talking about community police.”
He also spoke of the need to strengthen the traditional system and the local government administration, “which I prepared during the popular Murtala/Obasanjo administration, because I believe that there is need to enable that tier of government to work truly as a local government. They have their own executive, judiciary and legislature.
“They were working and they were very visible, building and managing roads, looking into education, health, local administration, agriculture, but they were all gone,” Obasanjo said.
Obasanjo, who was presented with a letter of a life patron, assured that he would look into their request, assuring that he would be available on request for their needs at all times.
Ashipa, earlier stated, “We can also contribute to the economy and political developments of the country.
“And realising your position as father of local government in Nigeria, we need you to actualize our goals, hence, this all important visit and to come and say happy 85th birthday celebrations.”
Others present were: Abayomi Tella, National Organising Secretary, Garba Adeniyi, National Auditor, Ayantoye Adekunle, State Chairman, Osun State, among others.