The Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has attributed security challenges bedeviling the country, particularly kidnappings and banditry to absence of state policing system across Nigeria.
With creation of state policing system, the governor argued, many security challenges threating the cooperate existence of Nigeria would be a thing of the past and normalcy would return to nooks and crannies of the nation.
The governor who spoke on Monday while delivering the convocation lecture at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Ogba, said that devolving policing to various levels, including the local level, is the only solution to the myriad of security challenges facing the country.
He added that though there have been strong opposition to multi-level policing that would birth state police, the approach must see the light of day if the country was serious about tackling insecurity challenges.
Speaking on the topic “Media, security and nation building”, the governor faulted the notion that state governors do not have resources to fund the state policing system.
On governors using the state police officers to harrass the citizen and intimidate opposition figures across the state, Fayemi noted that the current federal police officers were also harrasing citizens and that he was also a victim in 2014 despite being a sitting governor.
‘As the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, I don’t know of any state governor who is not in support of policing being devolved to local levels. There must be multi-level policing. It is an idea whose time has come. The excuse that state governors don’t have the resources to fund such is a fallacy.
“Right now, state governors are the ones funding federal police in their states. We buy vehicles, diesel, give them allowances and provide insurance cover for them. The only thing state governors don’t have over the federal police is control over them. If you want the Commissioner of Police in your state to do something for you as a governor, he will politely tell you he has heard you and that he would go and put things together in his office.
“He is not going there to put anything together, but to call the Inspector General of Police and tell him of your propositions. If the IGP gives him the go ahead, he would come back and say everything is ready, and of you don’t hear any feedback from him, his boss probably did not give him the go ahead.
”Multi-level policing does not mean the removal of federal police. They will be handling federal crimes such as terrorism. But there are some things you don’t need to take to Abuja to be able to deal with them. People at local levels know every nook and cranny of their community, unlike somebody you just bring in from say Kaura Namoda.
“Multi-level policing will happen one day in this country. It is one sure way to tackle the numerous security challenges we face now. To say governors would use them to harass opposition is false. Federal police harass people too. I was a victim of such harassment even as a siting governor in 2014,” he said.