GOVERNOR of Ekiti State and Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) Kayode Fayemi said limitations in the Nigerian Constitution and practical challenges were hindering governors from protecting residents in their states.
Fayemi said this while delivering his address at 2021 ‘The Platform’ organised by The Covenant Nation with the theme, ‘Is devolution of powers the solution to Nigeria’s problem’ held in Iganmu, Lagos State, on Saturday.
According to Fayemi, all governors in Nigeria were committed to protecting the lives of residents of their states, saying, however, that they were theoretically chief security officers of their states.
He said although they had the power to engage with all heads of security formations operating in their states, the governors’ directives were often not adhered to until they were cleared by ‘higher authorities.’
“…What would probably not surprise you because you’ve heard this before now is that sometimes that commissioner of police may not necessarily take your directive until he has cleared it with higher authorities,” Fayemi said.
When asked if he meant that governors could not secure their states, Fayemi noted that they could do so but beyond the reliance on federally-controlled policing arrangement.
Speaking on the political structure of Nigeria, the NGF chairman said there was no federation in the world with a unitary policing system except Nigeria.
In Nigeria, due to the rising state of insecurity, some regions have established regional security outfits to protect lives and properties in selected areas. In some northern states, there is Hisbah; South-West has the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN) codenamed Operation Amotekun, while South-East has Ebube Agu security network.
Over the years, many Nigerians, including lawmakers, ethnic groups and religious heads, have called for ‘true federalism’ and restructuring of the country.
However, the Presidency has replied that “such unpatriotic outbursts are both unhelpful and unwarranted” as the government would not succumb to threats and take any decision out of pressure.