Security: PDP Governors reiterate call for state policing

By Olubunmi Osoteku, Ibadan

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Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) have called on President Mohammadu Buhari to immediately send an Executive Bill to the National Assembly to amend the Nigerian Constitution to devolve more powers to the states concerning security arrangements culminating in some form of state policing and the general security architecture of the country.

The governors also aligned with the Southern governors’ ban on open grazing, while urging the president to immediately call the meeting of the Nigerian Police Council, which comprises the president, all state governors, and other critical stakeholders, to evolve and implement strategies to combat the present threats to national unity, especially with respect to policing.

The calls form part of a 6-point communique issued at the end of the PDP Governors’ Forum meeting, held behind closed doors, at the Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, on Monday.

Twelve governors were present at the meeting.

National unity and cohesion

The PDP governors urged the Federal Government to take bold and deliberate steps to de-escalate and lower tensions in the country and concentrate on projects and policies that would enhance and promote national unity and cohesion.

Chairman of the Forum, who also chaired the meeting, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, read the communique after the meeting, which lasted for about three hours.

He said the essence of the consultative meeting was to further review the state of the nation, particularly on practical steps to take to advance the conversation on the worsening security situation and the collapsing economy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The 6-point communique reads in part, “The meeting called on Mr President as the Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria and Commander in Chief of Nigerian Armed Forces to immediately send an Executive Bill to the National Assembly to amend the Nigerian Constitution to devolve more powers to the States with respect to security arrangements culminating in some form of State Policing and the general security architecture.

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“In the interim, Mr. President should summon an immediate meeting of the Nigerian Police Council, which comprises Mr. President and all State Governors and other critical stakeholders to evolve and implement strategies to combat the present threats to our union, especially with respect to policing.

“The meeting agreed that the Police Force still remains the appropriate institution to secure our democracy and should not be subjected to personal attacks. The welfare, training, equipment, funding of all security agencies should be given priority.

“The meeting supports the earlier position taken by the Nigeria Governors Forum, Northern Governors Forum and recently by the Southern Governors Forum to adopt ranching as the most viable solution to the herders/farmers clashes in Nigeria; the restructuring of the Nigerian federation to devolve more powers and functions to the States, and reform of various civil institutions to achieve efficiency and equity for all sections of Nigeria.

“The meeting enjoins all Nigerians to work together to achieve peace and harmony with one another, devoid of discrimination based on ethnicity, religion, and other cleavages. To this end, the meeting called on the incompetent and rudderless APC Government to take bold and deliberate steps to de-escalate and lower tensions in our country and concentrate on projects and policies that will enhance and promote national unity and cohesion.

“The meeting re-iterated our earlier call for the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of the Electoral Act that will ensure a free and fair election, including provisions for electronic accreditation and electronic transmission of votes.

“The meeting thanked the Host Governor, His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State for being a gracious and wonderful host, and congratulated him for the many landmarks developmental projects he has executed, and urged him to continue to work with all stakeholders in the South-West Zone to ensure that PDP takes over majority of the States in the Zone.”

Governors in attendance include Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom State), Douye Diri (Bayelsa), Samuel Ortom (Benue), and Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta).

Others are Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi) and Deputy Gov. Mahdi Mohd (Zamfara).

 

Zainab Sa’id

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