Apparently no one in the country, both the State and Federal House of Assembly members, including all others that occupy high positions in different government offices, is happy over the security situation, the country is enmeshed in, for over a decade now. While the government is drawn into this long war against banditry, kidnapping, Boko-Haram, fingers have unfortunately been pointed at men in uniform (the bad eggs among them) as those aiding and abetting the criminals in the society to destroy the country. This pathetic situation has resulted in the establishment of regional security outfits in various regions of the country, while the call for state police continues to gain the support of the people. Speakers of the thirty six State (36) Houses of Assembly have equally made a case for the establishment of state police to tackle insecurity in the country.
The Speakers want the ongoing review of the 1999 constitution to make way and accommodate the concept of state police and community policing. In a communiqué issued at the end of the second quarter general meeting of the conference of speakers of state legislatures of Nigeria, held in Asaba, Delta State and signed by the chairman of the conference and speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Abubakar Sulaiman, it read in parts “in every trying times such as this, we must ensure that we continue to give hope to our people and that we continue to do the very little that we can in our various constituencies because a little hope can encourage those who would have felt hopeless. We need to continue to pray for our country Nigeria and we need to realize that the unity of this country is important to us all and that everything that ought to be done, we will stay focused in doing those things that will keep this country united.
“There are so many things that ought to be discussed but we are not discussing yet, there is need for a true dialogue even when people tend to misconstrue it. When we speak about dialogue it’s about how we can begin to love ourselves and about how we can become more participatory in the totality of the governance of this nation and it is in the best interest of this nation.” Clearly, the security challenge in the country at present has brought untold hardship on both human and material resources. Experts who are monitoring developments in the country have told the federal government to accept the fact that extremists and terrorists would continue to unleash terror on the civilians who they consider as soft targets. One of such experts is Dr. Ona Ekhomu, who in a paper titled “Current State of insecurity and the rise of insurgency in Nigeria” which he presented at an international colloquium organized by the Men’s league of Christ church, Port Harcourt, Rivers state recently, warned that the terrorists have redrawn the battle lines to include Churches, Mosques, Schools, Hospitals, Shopping Malls, Villages, Highways, Waterways, Farm settlements, Railway stations, Motor parks, etcetera.
” He therefore advised that rather than cower and make excuses in the face of an unprecedented assault on our national security, the government at both Federal and states should target-harden the citizens by changing the mindset of the civilians from victims (soft target) to winners (hard target). A few days ago, the governor of Katsina State, Aminu Bello Masari charged his people to protect themselves and not wait for security agents who cannot be everywhere to defend them against bandits and Boko Haram insurgents. This call is scary, but now that it has come, Nigerians should brace up to the realities on ground. The support for state police creation by the law makers across the Federation further reveals how precarious the security challenge is. Thank God those who play politics with everything including human lives have come to the realization that the persistence of insecurity in the country may spell doom if the situation is allowed to fester.
No wonder the President earlier in the week begged the Niger Delta Avengers who threatened to destroy oil pipelines if the Federal Government fails to meet up with their demands. That the president this time appealed rather than threaten the people like he did to the South Easterners who he described as ‘Dot in a Circle’ means that the president now realise the enormity of the security problems in the country. We call on the law makers to stand their grounds this time and desist from handling issues of security as ‘Family Matter’ while Nigerians are mowed down and used as sacrificial lambs for no cause of theirs by these mindless marauders.