Governors’ forum raises panel to consider state police

L-R: Zamfara State Governor and Chairman of NGF, Mallam Abdulaziz Yari and Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State

• Stop using our name for illegalities, DSS warns operatives 

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has resolved to constitute a six-man committee to consider the vexed issue of state police in the country in a veiled backing for restructuring.

The committee which has membership drawn from representatives of the six geo-political zones of the country was specifically tasked to come up with the best way of policing the country in view of the prevailing security challenges besetting the nation.

This was sequel to their meeting with the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, at the Old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja ahead of the National Economic Council (NEC) yesterday.

Briefing State House Correspondents after the meeting which ended midnight on Wednesday, the Chairman of the forum and Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, who was joined by the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, said the IGP made a presentation at the meeting during which he canvassed the establishment of media channels including radio and television for the police force.

“There is the issue of state police which is being discussed and we are coming up with so many options,” Yari said.The police boss said the meeting essentially was “to address some of the challenges in the police unit,” adding “we had a fruitful discussion with them and obviously all of them are concerned about security in virtually all parts of the country. They are ready to support the Police Force to see how we can address some of the challenges.”

Meanwhile, security chiefs, including the Inspector General of Police Idris, former IGP, Solomon Arase  and other stakeholders on security will on July 26, meet in Osogbo, the Osun State capital to proffer solutions to the menace of kidnapping and terrorism in the country.

The conference is being organised by the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) and would draw security experts from across the country to tackle the menace of insecurity and terrorism.

The organisation has pulled its weight behind the introduction of state police, describing it as the only measure to prevent crime at the grassroots.At a press conference to herald the national security conference in Osogbo yesterday, the chairman of the conference planning committee, Mr. John Okedoye, said the conference became imperative because of the worrisome state of insecurity in the country.

He said the conference will draw participants from the 36 states of the country including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.Security experts expected to deliver papers at the conference include the Inspector General of Police, former IGP Arase, Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Senator  Babafemi Ojudu and an educationist, Dr. Oyebade Olowogboyega.

At another forum yesterday, the IGP said the use of pre-registered subscriber identification module (SIM) cards is a severe threat to security and governance. At a one-day sensitisation workshop for law enforcement agencies in the northeast zone on telecommunications issues organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in Gombe yesterday, he said: “These criminal activities, including the use of preregistered SIM cards, should be of concern to all us. We must re-strategise on our noble programme of community policing across communities and give our communities greater stake in securing national assets.”

Besides, the Department of State Services (DSS) has warned security and anti-corruption agencies allegedly using the name of the service to carry out illegal operations in parts of the country to stop.

The DSS was reacting to the recent search which the service was accused of carrying out at the Kaduna residence of the former Vice President, Namadi Sambo and another raid executed at No.165, Ademola Adetokunbo, Wuse II, Abuja, belonging to Sahara Energy Company.

A statement by the spokesman, Tony Opuiyo, yesterday in Abuja said these impersonators in some instances, try to copy the service’s operational tactics by using its symbols and paraphernalia especially operational dress codes. Opuiyo said the aim according to information available to the service, was to accord semblance of legitimacy to their operations and as well leave impressions that the DSS was, in fact, involved.

The statement reads: “The Department of State Services (DSS) has noted, with dismay and total condemnation, the activities of impostors including some security agencies who have continually engaged in illegal security operations, allegedly in the name of the service, in parts of the country.

“Consequently, the public is hereby alerted to be wary of these ugly trends and also informed that not all operatives in black uniforms are personnel of the DSS. “The service is indeed not sparing any effort to ensure that this is brought to a complete stop. In line with its standard operational procedures, the service will, in the spirit of public accountability, always inform stakeholders of its activities on the basis of need-to-know principle,” the statement added. He therefore, urged persons and groups, with useful information about suspected illegal operations in any part of the country to provide it to the service for prompt action.

Relatedly, the Global Peace Foundation of Nigeria yesterday warned against reprisal attacks in southern Kaduna, saying they would further inflame the crises.The Country President of the foundation, Mr. John Oko, gave the warning in Kajuru when he intervened in the dispute between Fulani and the Kadara communities.

According to him, dialogue remains the key to ending any conflict, adding: “The killings must stop while all communities must embrace talks to solve the problem.”He urged the two communities in Kajuru Local Council Area not to engage in reprisals following the recent clashes between them.Oko said it was unfortunate that the fight took place at a time when the various communities were living peacefully.

He cautioned that revenge would lead to the death of more innocent persons, as well as agony and dislocation.“It is unfortunate that people who were living peacefully with one another have now turned against themselves,’’ he said.

Also, two northern coordinators of the foundation, John Hayab and Halliru Maraya, have cautioned the communities to stop taking the law in their hands and allow the relevant authorities to deal with the situation.

The Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the area, Rev. Amos Andrew also expressed sadness over the outbreak of violence.“What happened was a great surprise, we will not allow our youths to take laws into their hands. We, as religious leaders have related very well and made peace by ourselves,” he said.

The local Chairman of Jama’atu Nasril Islam, Dahiru Abubakar, added that those involved in the killings must be brought to book to serve as examples to others.The police had on Wednesday assured that the situation had been brought under control, after the clashes in which 34 people died.

In this article:
DSSIbrahim Idris
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