Nigeria’s centralised policing has failed, says Oyetola
• Urges other regions to create own Amotekun
Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, yesterday, in Abuja, reviewed the country’s security challenges and concluded that a sure way to tackle them is to decentralise the policing system.
Oyetola, who acknowledged community policing, argued that the intervention is inadequate as it is still being controlled from the centre.
He further argued that the constitutional provision that assigns the role of chief security officer to governors ought to have given them more powers to really and effectively perform their responsibilities as chief security officer.
Oyetola, who spoke at the second yearly colloquium of Sultan Maccido Institute for Peace, Leadership and Development Studies at the University of Abuja, identified poverty as a key cause of insecurity.
He noted that poverty creates a gulf between the rich and the poor just as it creates inequitable allocation of resources which pits one region against the other.
“Security, governance, and sustainable economic development are the tripod upon which a nation’s prosperity and wellbeing stand. Security is the facilitator of the other two factors. Criminality has no religion or ethnicity,” the Osun governor said.
Oyetola, who described the South Western Security Network, codenamed Amotekun, as a child of necessity, said the security arrangement was complementing efforts of the conventional security agencies to effectively tackle armed banditry, kidnapping and armed robbery, among other crimes.
“Amotekun became necessary because the nation’s conventional security agencies are overstretched and sorely underfunded.
“The Nigeria Police once confirmed the sorry state of its manpower when it said the force needed 155,000 additional hands to effectively police the nation. The security agencies, as presently constituted, are too centralised and too far from the grassroots to adequately provide the required security for the nation. Worse still, they are unfamiliar with the terrains where crimes take place. It is our belief that our people understand the topography of their communities more and can govern them better.
“The nation’s expansive forests have unfortunately become hideouts of bandits, kidnappers, and other criminals. With the establishment of Amotekun, the forests of the South West are now better policed. The issues that make Amotekun inevitable in the South West are the same in other regions who may wish to emulate the South West to put structures in place to rid their areas of crime,” Oyetola said.
According to him, the recent experience where attempt to confront armed banditry headlong in the North resulted in the incursion of their people into South West and other regions that were erroneously perceived to be immune from the insecurity challenge, is proof that each region has to be adequately policed for the region to know peace.
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