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Herdsmen: Lagos lawmaker Calls for State Police By Emeka Ibemere



Hon. Emeka Idumogu, a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has described the growing insecurity in the country as a threat to national peace and unity.

He stated that state police could be the answer to the numerous insecurities, especially of the new face of herdsmen, that have wrecked havoc on communities in recent times.

He insisted that state police will be used in checkmating insecurity in the country, adding that when each state is secured, the entire country is save.

The House member, who spoke with our correspondent in Lagos, said: “Every state should have its police under the control of the governor of that state. Let police be ‘deregulated’ just like we are in the deregulation regime, while the army be for the centre and take responsibility of national territory waters and boundaries.”

He said, “I mean the armed forces should be exclusively for Federal Government but police should be run by the state under the control of the Chief Executive Governor of each state because it’s in the state that all these terrors take place”

According to him, its not when an issue takes place in a state, the Governor would start calling for the IGP or the President and so on.

“And sometimes when a Governor calls them depending on their relationship with the Governor the IG or Commissioner may ignore him because they don’t take orders from him.

“It’s not proper as a Governor of a state; not to have control over the police,” he stated.

He noted that the herdsmen banditry in South East and North Central, was worrisome.

Hon. Idumogu said the Enugu killings was quite unfortunate, adding that the activities of the Fulani herdsmen to him, is a bad signal to the unity and co-existence of the nation-state called Nigeria.

According to him, the actions of the cattle rearers also bring us to the question of state police.

“I listened vividly the excuses of the Enugu Commissioner of Police and that of the state Governor saying that they were preview to the attack and that he made efforts to contact the security agencies and the police commands in Enugu State; and the worst was that they had a meeting on it but because the Governor doesn’t have control of the police and other security agencies, probably its my own view, they didn’t take it seriously”

He queried, “How can a Governor want a problem solved and the Commissioner of Police will not corporate with him, its not good enough. The issue of state policing is necessary. “The argument that it’s going to be abused is not sound because I believe that in the present day Nigeria, we have overcome such argument. I will go for state police because it is the key to solving insecurity in states.”

Idumogu said he is of optimistic that with the state policing, it will help solve the insecurity in states, adding that when you rely on the Inspector General of Police who is in Abuja, to solve a problem in Enugu, a lot of damages must have gone.

“And by the time you send messages and sometimes the message will not get to him or may be the governor start running to the presidency in a small case he will quietly handle in his domain, its not healthy and safe for quick response to insecurity.

“I don’t think the 1999 constitution as amended was not faulty. There are lots of sections and portions there that deserved to be changed and removed, especially in the exclusive list and in the concurrent list; these are the obstacle issues we have to look at. Coming back to the Fulani herdsmen, my take is that the Governors in the South East and South- South have to work together. As it happened in Enugu, you may not know their next target. So, they must come together and come up with their own security arrangement in tackling the menace, because prevention is better than cure.”

On the Niger-Delta Avengers, he said the gang seems to be another new birth of insecurity and their operation is taking a toll on the nation’s resources,

“I think it’s the issue of sectionalism, ethnic consciousness and resource control agitation that gave birth to the recent NDA, perhaps, today former President Goodluck Jonathan is no longer in power andBuhari is the president and apart from that the present President stopped the amnesty deal which the late Umaru Musa ‘Yar’aduwa had with the Niger-Delta militants that forced them to drop their arms, and considering the allowances, training on skill acquisition and other benefits that Buhari stopped, I’m not saying they should be pampered but there is a saying that the chicken that lays the golden egg should be given attention like that.”

Hon. Idumogu said whether other Nigerians like it or not, the crude oil that the nation is enjoying today comes from the Niger-Delta, and that the zone needs some attention.

“And remember, the issue of amnesty wasn’t the brain child of Jonathan, it was the late Umaru Musa ‘Yar’aduwa, and that is to tell you after looking at the whole scenario, all he wanted was peace of the Niger Delta, peace of Nigeria, peace of his government, and the peace of the Nigerians and he went for the amnesty deal and it worked for him and his government.

“So, the issue now is that the present government is not taking them seriously instead they are talking tough, and it’s not good enough and may not produce result. I condemned the actions of the NDA, for me its sabotage and its bad but because of Nigerian interest there, the government should go for negotiation because if you declare war there, a lot of things will be destroyed and the oil production we are talking about will be affected. They know the terrain more than the Nigerian soldiers, so discuss with them rather than going into war with them. Now the Nigerian crude oil production has recorded the lowest since 1976, according to some reports, it’s not good.”

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