The Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has thrown his weight behind call seeking constitutional role for traditional rulers, adding that since they are closest to the grassroots, legalising their role would further empower them in dealing with challenges within their domains.
He explained that having constitutional backing would enhance traditional rulers operations in the task of nation building across the country in different capacity.
The governor said that since the country was battling with issues bordering on insecurity, particularly the northern region, there was need to further empower the monarchs, whom he described as grassroots stakeholders.
According to him, I have always said that the traditional rulers are the fourth tier of government, their duties encompass all we do in our society.
AbdulRazaq spoke yesterday at the one-day sensitisation programme on community policing which was organised by the Kwara State Police Command, in Ilorin, the state capital.
The event was attended by top echelons of the police, serving and retired, such as the retired Inspectors-General of Police, Aliu Attah and Tafa Balogun and Commissioner of Police for Kwara State, Mohammed Bagega. It was also attended by leading traditional rulers, civil society groups, community leaders, and the media, amongst others.
The governor said, “we have always been grateful to them because I receive calls daily from them on security issues, not just giving information but also curbing civil disturbances like we recently had in Ilesha Baruba. In that community, there was a civil disturbance earlier and the Emir singlehandedly calmed the situation and ensured that the community is safe. We deeply appreciate his efforts on what he did.
“In the last meeting of Northern Governors held in Kaduna, there was the idea that the roles of the traditional rulers should be amplified and embedded into the constitution. This means that we should give them constitutional roles in the society. That is an ongoing process, and I am a supporter of this initiative.”
Furthermore, AbdulRazaq reiterated his support for community policing which he described as long due to strengthen security of lives and priorities.
According to him, community policing is an idea that is long due. It helps to localise policing, brings security architecture closer to the grassroots, and gets a more robust buy-in of the people.
Continuing, he said, “it relies almost entirely on local intelligence and constant interactions with community folks to succeed. However, it is important to state that the success of community policing depends on all of us seeing it as our baby that must be nurtured to success.
“I therefore urge every stakeholder to support the initiative. As an administration, we are wholeheartedly committed to community policing and will continue to mobilise public support for it.”
Attah, in his speech, observed that the existing policing system had been grossly criticized for poor performance because of its inability to meet some expectations, a development he attributed largely to inadequate manpower and funding.
He said when community policing fully comes to play, it would generate employment, reduce youth restiveness, and minimise crimes.
“When community policing system is introduced, most communities who have not felt the presence of government in their localities would at least know the government has come to them as they will have representation who will be concerned about their safety,” he said.
Balogun, another former IGP, said that the initiative climaxed his eight points agenda while in office, apart from the famous operation fire for fire.
He said he, alongside his colleagues are vehemently canvassing support to resuscitate community policing, on account of its potential benefits to reduce crime rate in the country.
Bagega described the programme as a watershed and a radical renewed approach in the implementation of community policing strategy as espoused by the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu.
He added that criminal activities in the nation now require pragmatic approach and support of all and sundry to curtail.
He said that the principle of community policing was the best option to ensure crime management and control, adding that with robust relationship between the police and other stakeholders in the state, crime management and control would be achieved.