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Insecurity: El-Rufai renews call for state, local police


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NASIR El-Rufai, Kaduna state governor, has stated that the 1999 Nigeria constitution must be amended to accommodate both state and local policing if the country must overcome its growing insecurity challenges.                

He also called for the devolution of the judiciary to save Nigeria from the brink of collapse.

El-Rufai stated these while speaking at a programme called ‘Radio Now’s Urgent Conversation’ aired on Thursday on Channels Television and monitored by The ICIR on Tuesday.

“I will dwell on three of the issues that I believe are critical to the immediate needs of the country to pull back from the brink.

“The first, it is imperative for federal, state, and community policing. We do not have enough police. One centralised police for the country just has not worked.

“Secondly, we must amend the constitution and relevant laws to ensure control of oil and gas, mines, and minerals in the states that already have control over land under the land use Act with royalties and taxes payable to the Federal Government and the Federation Account.

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“Number three, we must rectify the anomaly of a federation that has a more or less unitary judiciary,” the governor explained.

The governor said, “My first recommendation is to implement the three key devolution proposals that I mentioned above. Give us state police now, vest all minerals in the state now, and decentralised our judiciary now, not tomorrow, not later.”

El-Rufai also stressed that banditry is a national problem and it is the responsibility of relevant stakeholders to calm nerves through their utterances and not fan the embers of division.

“It is an understatement to say that Nigeria is in one of its most difficult moments. The genuine fears for their lives and property felt by many citizens across the country need to be assuaged. All responsible persons must show compassion to our compatriots that have been affected while calming nerves.

“Banditry is a national problem, with victims from all parts of the country, and we should address it with a common resolve,” El-Rufai said.

According to the governor, the country requires elite consensus to take the poison out of identity politics.

As the country grapples with the rise of killings and kidnappings mostly perpetuated by bandits and armed herders in most parts of the country, there have been calls to amend the Constitution to allow states across the country to cater for the security needs of their people.

Last month, Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria’s former president, lent his voice to calls by Darius Ishaku, governor of Taraba State, for Nigeria to consider the creation of both state and local police to address the ravaging insecurity across the country.

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Obasanjo, who had in the past dismissed such calls because he believed the action could take Nigeria back to the 1950s, said there was the need for devolution of powers, responsibilities, and resources to allow for healthy competition among states.

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