FORMER Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has insisted that the only solution to tackling raging insecurity in Nigeria is through State Police.
Obasanjo said this while delivering his speech at the 78th anniversary of Island Club on Friday in Lagos with the theme ‘Social responsibility in nation building’.
“I have said it before and I will say it again. Nigeria should have state police in all the states so that they can adequately tackle insecurity. Guaranteeing citizens a safe environment and round security is one thing a government must do,” Obasanjo said.
He added that no nation could be built without ensuring security and stability for the present and future generations.
“No nation can be built where peace, security and stability are not assured or guaranteed and with reasonable predictability of the President and the future not enthroned,” he said.
He noted that any government that does fail to listen to its people is a blind government and will not last.
“As a government, you need to listen to the people. If you fail to listen to the people, the day of reckoning will come for you, and it will come soon. We can see it all around us; it has come.
“You have to realise that there is an element of hazard in life itself. What would make you not talk? Fear? There is a Yoruba proverb that says, ‘You talk, you die; you don’t talk, you’ll still die.’ Death is inevitable. As I am here, I am not afraid of death,” the former president said.
Speaking on the effects of insecurity, Obasanjo said there were more than four million out of school children in Nigeria.
As insecurity continues to plague most parts of Nigeria, governors, politicians and civil society organisations have called for State-controlled Policing to keep their citizens safe.
Nigeria currently operates a centralised Policing system where the governors have no direct control of operations of the Nigeria Police Force.
Despite the growing insecurity, the Muhammadu Buhari led administration and the National Assembly has failed to grant State governments power to control the Police force directly.
In May, Inspector-General of Police Usman Baba said ‘technically’ State-police is already in operations due to the existence of state-controlled institutions like the Vigilante group.
“But if you look at it technically, I doubt if there is any state that does not have state police even now. What do I mean? There are creations that are done by state governments to assist law enforcement agencies in trying to maintain law and order or enforce regulations or laws that are created by state governments.
“We have vigilante everywhere in this country. We have various types of organisations that have been created by state governments to assist in policing. Some of them had even House of Assembly laws that guide their operations,” Baba said.