- Category: Latest
- Published on Tuesday, 31 July 2012 23:41
- Written by Admin
Southern governors have taken a swipe at their northern counterparts for making a U-turn on their call for state police. The NGF had, in a communiqué after its meeting in Abuja on June 24, urged the Federal Government to urgently consider the creation of state police as a solution to the state of violence in the country.
It also demanded a special fund to fight insecurity in the North.
But the northern governors on Friday backtracked on their earlier call when they rejected the clamour for state police, saying the country was not ripe for it.
Instead of state police, the northern governors, in their meeting presided over by Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu in Abuja on Friday, demanded the strengthening of the police.
However, governors Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta) and Babatunde Fashola (Lagos) criticised the NGF for shifting its position.
They were supported by Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang, a member of the NGF.
In interviews with our correspondents on Tuesday, the governors insisted that state police would help solve the security problems in the country.
Aregbesola, said, “There is nowhere in the world where our own structure of the police is being replicated. In other parts of the world, institutions are allowed to have their own police.
“In such environments, crime rate has been reduced to its barest minimum. The Nigerian police could be very effective and efficient but their challenges are majorly the structure and equipment.”
Fayemi said, “It is contradiction in terms to call state governors the chief security officers of their states and yet don’t have control over the instrumentalities of security control.
“The NPF has central control from Abuja which is unacceptable. Crimes are essentially better controlled by local communities because it’s easy for the people to know the geography, culture and crime history of the community. It is incongruous to bring somebody from afar to police a strange environment.”
On his part, Mimiko, who spoke through the state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, said states should be allowed to control their police.
He said, “The best thing that could happen to this country is if the state governments are allowed to be in total control of their security by having their own police which will take orders directly from the governors.”
Uduaghan, at the Senate retreat in Asaba, said the South-South believed in state police.
He said, “If we do not consider having state police our security challenges will continue to get worse.”
Fashola, who spoke through the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba, on the telephone, said the position of the state on state police, minimum wage and immunity clause was arrived at after researches and deliberations.
He said, “Reason must prevail in looking at this issue. For instance, Lagos has given it reasons for wanting state police and the way it will implement it.
“It is on record that nobody has faulted our reasons. So if anybody feels he is not ready for state police, that is his opinion; but we must look at the reason some of we are calling for it and how we intended to implement it. No sentiment should be used.”
Besides state police, the governors commented on the single tenure; immunity clause and fiscal federalism.
Aregbesola backed the call for a single tenure for governors and the President.
He said, “I am for a single term of seven years. It allows for effective performance and rancour-free tenure with focused governance. It is to me the best option for a nascent democracy.”
Fayemi said, “The two-term tenure that is obtained in a free and fair election is okay to allow for continuity and consolidation by the incumbent.
“It is unimaginable that a Fayemi is not given a second term in view of the leaps and bounds development Ekiti is undergoing in his first term in government. See what development Lagos is experiencing with the phenomenon of second term.”
Mimiko said true federalism would put an end to agitation for tenure elongation.
He said, “True federalism is desired in this country to put an end to agitation for tenures for the executive at the federal, states and local government levels.
“Niger Delta region, because of the difficulties we have in developing the area as a result of the terrain, justice and fair play require that we should be getting 100 per cent and paying taxes to the centre. If that arrangement is not done then they should increase the derivation to at least 50 per cent.”
Jang said Plateau was not part of the decision of the Northern Governors’ Forum, saying the forum had earlier taken a position collectively as 36 governors.
Jang said this on Tuesday when he received the Catholic Archbishop of Jos, Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, who returned from Italy to receive the International Golden Doves Peace Award by the Institute for International Research in Italy.
With additional report from PUNCH