.Say prevailing security situation make state policing expedient
.Okay states with financial clout to go ahead with new policy
.Govs agree with FG on need for state police* Buhari, Osinbajo meet security chiefs
The Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Zamfara State Governor Abdulaziz Yari have disclosed that the state governors have agreed that the security situation in the country has made adoption of state policing expedient.
He, however, said though state policing is desirous by all state governors, it is not all state governments that can afford to bankroll state police.
He added that the decision of the governors is in consonance with the position of the Federal Government as declared last week by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Yari, who spoke to journalists at the end or the national security summit held in Abuja on Monday, said the issue of security is not something that the nation can play with because the primary responsibility of government anywhere in the world is to ensure that the life and property of citizens are protected.
He listed the so many challenges of the country in the past 10 years as ranging from Boko Haram, cattle rustlers, armed banditry, militancy in the Niger Delta, saying the aforementioned issues are responsible for dwindling the Nigerian economy and threatening even the unity of the nation.
Governor Yari said, “Our take home is that the Vice President raised some of the key discussions on that day about the issue of state police. Yes, the state police is something we have agreed in 2011 and 2015 during the constitution amendment but at the later time when the forum divided into two, there was a game that played into the gallery which is unfortunate.
“Today, we have reiterated the position of the vice president and the position of the security summit we held in August that there is a need for the state police, we can say it is only the answer.
“After the session with the governors, someone asked the question that the military is operating in Zamfara and if they cannot make headway, where we are; how do I mean that the state police can make a headway. I told them the issue of military for them is to defend, it is not to come out for any kind of internal security matter, that internal security is supposed to be handled and managed by the police and the police of today are inadequate.
“It is not all the states that are supposed to have the police, those that can can be able to have it. It is something we cannot take off at the same time, we were created differently”.
The governor said virtually all the states in the country are under policed. He said Zamfara State with a population of about 4 million people has about 5,000 policemen.
The Senate Leader, who is the chairman of the Ad- hoc Committee, Senator Ahmad Lawan, said the summit sponsored by the Senate, was a strategic collaboration amongst all arms of government.
It had in attendance the Presidency, State Governors, Security Chiefs and heads of Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The successful two-day event served as an opportunity to survey the nation’s current security situation and to place all issues on the table in an effort to find short and long term solutions to the nation’s security challenges. Important assessment briefings were provided by the heads of security and intelligence agencies.
He said the summit presenters and attendees focused on the areas of weakness that should be strengthened and the various assets at the Federal Government’s disposal, particularly, ways to strengthen security through the deployment of assets.
The primary purpose of the summit, he added, is to reassure citizens that all arms of government are serious about addressing insecurity and are working collaboratively to find solutions.
Senator Lawan said, “Out of the whole-of-government effort, Nigerians can expect a higher level of security to protect lives and property.
“The Summit wishes to express its appreciation to all participants for their valuable contributions to the summit’s success. Nigerians can expect more positive collaboration of this kind between the Executive and Legislative branches of government.
“Further, the Senate looks to use the data and information from the proceedings to improve the security sector through legislative interventions and advocacy.”
In a relagted development, President Muhammadu Buhari has met with the security chiefs of the country in what was believed to be part of efforts aimed at addressing some security challenges being witnessed across the country.
The meeting, which was also attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, was held on Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha; Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali; Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), also attended the event.
It was held amidst concerns over the spate of killings by people suspected to be herdsmen in some parts of the country, and abductions in other parts of the country.
The meeting was an extended one, as the number of participants was extended to accommodate the heads of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Fire Service, Federal Road Safety Commission, Nigeria Prisons Service and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
These are apart from the service chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, who meet with the President regularly.
Service chiefs who attended the meeting included the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas; and the Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar.
Others were the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Lawal Daura; and the Director-General of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Abubakar.
None of those who attended the meeting was willing to speak with the State House correspondents when approached for comments at the end of the meeting.
Meanwhile, the Presidency was yet to issue an official statement on the meeting as at the time of filing this report.
The Daily Times recalls that the DSS had, on Saturday, briefed Buhari on the negotiations that led to the release of three University of Maiduguri lecturers abducted by suspected Boko Haram terrorists in Magumeri, Borno State and 10 women kidnapped in a raid by the militant group on a military/police convoy on Damboa Road, near Maiduguri.
Following the briefing, the President had urged the DSS and the Nigerian Army to intensify efforts to bring home the remaining Chibok girls still in the custody of the terrorists.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, had in a statement said: “The President, who got step-by-step progress reports on the lengthy negotiations while they took place, received the good news with a lot of happiness.
“He commended all those who, in one way or the other, helped in making the release possible.
“He then urged the DSS and the Nigerian Army to intensify efforts to bring home the remaining Chibok girls still in the custody of the terrorists.
“The Director-General of the DSS, Lawal Daura, assured the President that they were working hard to bring home the remaining girls and, as soon as possible, bring the Chibok girls’ saga to an end.”