INSECURITY: Atiku Backs State Police

INSECURITY: Atiku Backs State Police
  • Says its remedy to killings, kidnappings, others
  • Pledges restructuring, true federalism
  • Improvements on commercialised NNPC

As the level of insecurity deteriorates, the issue of state police sprang up again yesterday when former vice-president and the Peoples Democratic Party flag bearer in the forthcoming 2023 presidential election, Mr Atiku Abubakar, supported its creation. He said this and others in an exclusive interview by Arise TV in Abuja. When he was asked of his position on state police, the former vice-president without mincing words supported the creation of State Police and other levels of policing as recognized in the presidential system of government as practiced in advanced democratic nations especially the UK and US where policing and security is a serious business. According to the Presidential hopeful , securing the citizens of the country is the priority of any serious president. He said,”I will have state police and even local and community police so as to have effective policing”. He cited the population of Egypt being less than 10million but have over two million police in every nook and cranny of the country.  He said, “Policing is local and unless the police is decentralised, better trained and equipped, we cannot curb insecurity”.  When the police is localized, killings will be abated and reduced to the barest minimum. How can someone remain in the FCT and be dishing out command anytime there is a security breach, the commissioners of police would be waiting to receive orders from the IGP , sees such practices as not workable owing to the precarious situation we have found ourselves under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari. Atiku said that state police will definitely check insecurity because policing will be local.

It would be recalled that Atiku has been in the forefront of dissolution of power, true federalism and a free market economy. In 2018, following the announcement of the constitutional amendment procedure, he commended the National Assembly for its decision to amend the constitution and formally provide for state police and community policing in the country to deal with the current deteriorating state of insecurity characterised by persistent losses of lives of Nigerians at the hands of armed groups.

Mr Abubakar said the lawmakers have by their action demonstrated courage in seizing the initiative to intervene in the country’s security crisis. The National Assembly announced Tuesday the commencement of constitution amendment procedure to allow state police.

The then President of the Senate Bukola Saraki urged State Houses of Assembly to support the National Assembly to achieve the goal. Recalling the massacres in Benue, Plateau, Taraba, Adamawa, Zamfara, and Kaduna States, Mr Abubakar said the National Assembly’s move was “decisive”.

According to him, given the seeming despair and helplessness of the citizens in the face of frequent deadly attacks, the National Assembly has a responsibility to give legal backing to the creation of state police and community policing in the country.

“A peculiar crisis demands a decisive action, and I am one hundred percent behind the National Assembly in their efforts to strengthen the hands of state governments in providing security to their citizens”, Atiku said.

The Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate also reiterated his resolve to support a true federalism by devolving more powers to the State so as to work effectively as federating units as it is required of the presidential system of government. He said, “There are so many powers at the centre and these have affected the development and functioning of governance, people need to feel the impact of governance when power is devolved, and restructured where the units will work , have development plans as witnessed in many advanced nations.

On what seems like doing what he has planned in 2018 about commercializing the NNPC, as the Buhari administration has recently moved the NNPC to a privately owned entity. Atiku said that the NNPC was his brain child but thanked the handlers for following his plans even though it was done in secrecy as Nigerians are not in the know of who and who own the company. He assured that he will not scrap it rather improve on the policies by bringing transparency and accountability to the fore. The same way Saudi Arabia, ARAMCO and Petrobras are doing in their countries, a model the Buhari government tried doing but riddled it in secrecy. There are needs to bring state governors, oil producing communities on board. On the energy sector, especially the use of gas to improve the system and make forex for the country, he said, he will unbundle the transmission and generation and diversify the energy sources whereby gas, coal, solar, renewable energies will be deployed by states to power the electricity according to its availability.  The Niger Delta for instance can use gas to power their states, Coal for the South-east states and solar and dams for the North-east and North-west as many dams are at below capacity used and wasting in the northern part of the country.

In another development, Atiku took on his political opponents and described them as not serious in winning the election come 2023. He described the Muslim-Muslim ticket of Tinubu as an insult to the sensibilities of Nigerians and a deliberate way of widening the faultiness. He revealed that in 2007, 2015 he was instrumental in stopping Bola Tinubu’s idea of a Muslim-Muslim ticket which he has gone ahead to choose. He also took a swipe at Peter Obi his erstwhile running mate in the 2019 presidential election for defecting without telling him but his choice will not make the Labour party to win in 2023 as Obi’s supporters are on social media and his party doesn’t have structure. He doused the fear that the PDP support base will be affected owing to the “Obidient movement”, but said that the North doesn’t have access to social media on like the South but are attuned with the radio and other means of communication thereby stating that his support base remains intact.

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