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Community, state police and centralist mindset

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IT appears that the bug of centralist mindset has stuck irretrievably. It has compounded the country’s socioeconomic adverse fortunes. In federalist nations of the world like United States, Canada, etc. security is decentralized which ensures effectiveness and maximum efficiency in the security of lives and property.

President Muhammadu has reportedly seen the imperative of true federalism as a pragmatic panacea to the ever mounting insecurity ravaging the entire landscape of the country. But curiously, some pundits are locked in a debate as to the manner of decentralized security to mitigate the security quandary. Some have suggested ‘Community Policing’; while others say ‘State Police’. But in actual fact, State Police aligns with decentralized security architecture germane to ideal federal set up the world over.

Former Inspector General of Police, Donald Iroham, from personal experience and training in and outside the shores of the country, advised against community policing, maintaining that decentralized security system is in consonance with the federal system of government which Nigeria is supposed to be practicing and not the quixotic hybrid that swing between unitary-federal contraption.

He said: “Community policing initiative actually came about because of our copy-copy mentality in Africa. The black man does not engage in rational thinking. Community policing cannot take root in Nigeria as Nigeria is a federation with unitary mode of administration.

“In Nigeria, community policing cannot work, until the police force is decentralized and indigenes take up the enterprise of policing themselves. Nigeria is about the only country that claims to run a federal system of government and at the same time, has a national police force.

The retired police officer who believes that time has come to face the stark realities as different from pursuing sectional agenda, suggested that Nigeria should start restructuring processes in the second tenure of Buhari administration to retrieve the country from the brink  of a failed state status since security is the fundamental responsibility of government the world over.

In his ‘Mending Nigeria Through Security,’ a columnist expressed satisfaction that Buhari has come to terms with the categorical imperative of reinventing the principles of federalism which decentralized security architecture represents. “It is, therefore, encouraging that the Buhari government has also outgrown what has seemed to be an obsession with the philosophy and culture of a central police organization, under which insecurity has developed to the current nightmarish proportions.

“By embracing the concept and practice of sub-national policing, now euphemistically referred to as community policing, the central government has started to think beyond the box. The central government should have enough to do with interstate criminality within the country and with inter-country criminal matters in the Chad Basin and the ECOWAS region”.

The highly unexpected massive influx of the so-called bandits, cattle rustlers, gun men, coupled with the ubiquitous militia herdsmen ravaging the entire country has left no one in doubt that some ominous is afoot security wise in Nigeria. It is severely astonishing that the vice chairman of Shinkafi Local Government Area in  Zamfara State, Alhaji Sani Galadima, literally sent chills down the spines of Nigerians that the state government has been paying ransom, ranging from N20 million to bandits to stop invading the places, killing and maiming people.  This is a state where abduction of school girls was done to demonstrate the dire security situation in the core north now.

In a somewhat critical assessment of the frightful narrative of paying ransom to terrorists from God-knows where, while Nigerians debating whether to implement community policing under the apron string of the federal government or state police relative to restructuring the federation, the editorial of a daily advised the federal government to set the machinery in motion to implement the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference which recommended state police as a panacea for maximum security to set the country on the path of meaningful socioeconomic growth and development. “We cannot afford to have Nigerians taken hostage by bandits. The consequences of letting this very tragic situation fester would be unimaginable and very devastating for the country, especially with the agricultural and economic activities generally now under severe threat. .

“The federal, state and local governments must take the security of citizens more seriously. It is time to plan and take real actions to fulfill the primary duty of government which is the protection of the lives of and property of citizens”.

Nigeria should withdraw from the infamous ECOWAS protocol which allowed free entry of Fulani herdsmen. Their murderous enterprises have confirmed what Olusegun Obasanjo had just said that there was consummate plan for the Fulanization of the country.

The sum total of the lasting solution to the insecurity that has apparently gone out of hand is full-blown restructuring of the federation to anchor decentralized security architecture.

Restructuring has to do with control of natural and mineral resources within the envisaged regional governments’ setting and with that, each regional government can maintain its security organization. It bears, stating that there is no need for prevarications or mix-up on community policing and state police. The former is a decoy to evade the stark realities of decentralized security architecture typical of true federalism.  Crass and brazen deception does not pay in the critical condition Nigeria finds itself.

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