Establish state police to fight insecurity, PDP governors urge FG

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Governors elected on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, on Thursday, lamented the security challenges facing the country.

They insisted that for the nation to overcome the challenge, the present police structure must be decentralised to give way to the establishment of state police across the country

The PDP governors spoke in Jos, Plateau State capital when they visited the Plateau State Governor Caleb Mutfwang at the Rayfield Government House.

The visit follows the series of attacks and killings by gunmen in the state which had reportedly claimed over 200 lives in the past month with properties worth millions of naira destroyed in various communities of the state.

In an interview with journalists after the visit, the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, who is also the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Muhammed, who spoke on their behalf, said, “We are just being very honest with ourselves. We are not just indicting unreasonably the Nigerin police or the security agents as they are doing their best, but certainly, the ratio between citizens to policing is very low and the states know the peculiarities of their states and local governments and their towns and villages and even the crisis of community crisis and others.

“So we have always been advocating. There is no dissent between the governors and the national level but we need to get some decentralisation of the security apparatus so that we can enhance good governance by having good state police.”

The forum’s chairman added, “And again, that would give us the opportunity to engage the structure, the security agencies to train our youths and also make sure the rules of engagement are not abused; there are no extrajudicial killings, and so on and so forth.

“We will work in tandem with established practice, globally rather than just be forced to be doing vigilante. Even on the vigilante, we’re doing our best to make sure we involve the security agencies, but we are still being accused. We are copying from Amotekun.

“We have seen what happened in Zamfara, in Katsina and other places. This is good to go because Nigerians want to sleep with their two eyes closed and the PDP, as a party, has always ensured good governance as our governor of Plateau said.

“We have no option other than to show the difference between beans and rice. That’s what we are trying to do to – make sure we bring projects and programmes, good governance with the little resources we have, even though we may not get special intervention, but we are doing best with the least that we have.”

Earlier, Muhammed told the state governor that members of the forum were in the state to commiserate with him and the people of Plateau over the security challenges being experienced.

“We have come to register our sympathy to you over the crisis you have been confronted with and to also commend your excellent handling of the situation, despite the court battles you had to handle.

“Nigerians want to sleep with their eyes closed and go about their normal duties peacefully, that is why we’re calling on the Federal Government to up its game by considering the establishment of State Police in the country.”

Muhammed said that the PDP governors would continue to stand by him to enable him to overcome the situation.

“And so we’re donating the sum of N100 million in support of the victims of these unfortunate incidents, knowing that you are an accommodating governor who values inclusiveness with the understanding that Plateau State is home to all,” the chairman added.

In a remark, Mutfwang thanked the PDP Governors for the visit and their kind gesture which he said the people of Plateau State would remain grateful.

He lamented that the people of the state had suffered so much because of insecurity, saying that his administration would continue to do its best to address the challenge and also provide good governance in the interest of the people who voted him into power.

“Like Governor Bala Muhammed said, you had a situation, particularly in the last administration where you are tempted to think that even the perpetrators of the insecurity were being supervised by the state and this has made them become emboldened to continue to unleash terror on innocent lives but by the grace of God. We are not deterred.

“We are also trying to ensure that we build inter and intra-community harmony. One thing I have said consistently since becoming governor is that nobody can do it alone. We need unity across the divides of faith, across the divides of ethnicity. If we don’t achieve it, it’s going to be difficult for the country to be secure. So I’ve always advocated that we must do our best to ensure that we rebuild trust amongst our people.

“Because it is a breakdown of trust that has allowed a lot of these criminals to find hiding places amongst us. And once we perceive this as criminality and are all treated as such, I believe that we’ll see some light at the end of the tunnel. But in a situation where no one has ever been arrested and prosecuted, no one has ever gone to jail for these wanton killings. I think it speaks volumes. It only encourages and emboldens criminals to continue on this trajectory,” Mutfwang added.