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Okiro insists, State Police is not feasible under Nigeria’s current setting

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Mike Okiro
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***State govt can hardly pay workers salary

**may work only with the Canadian Model

The much talked about decentralisation of the Nigeria Police Force can not achieve its desired objective as the inherent factors that led to its failure in the past have not been addressed, Retired Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mike Okiro has indicated

Okiro spoke with journalists on the sideline of the 2023 Convention of the Old Seminarians Association of Nigeria (OSAN), hosted by the Clerk to the Senate, Mr. Chinedu Akubueze, in Abuja.

The former IGP explained that at the inception of the Nigerian police, authorities of the sub regional institutions had their own police separate from the ones being controlled by the central government.

According to him, the state police idea can not work due to paucity of funds at both the state and local government areas.

He wondered how the states and local government areas that cannot effectively pay the salaries of their workers would be able to fund their own police.

Okiro, however said the only way the state police could work was for Nigeria to adopt the Canadian model.

The Canadian model, according to him, would involved the states recruiting the police personnel who would be funded by the Federal Government.

He said, “The only way we can have state police in Nigeria is to adopt the Canadian model, where every region has its own police employed by the region and paid by the federal.

“For example, in Nigeria every governor wouldl employ their own police, equip them while they would be paid by the Federal Government.

“Before the advent of what we have now, we had ‘dandoka’,  we had police in the West, we also had police in the East.

“Local governments had their Police, but because of the behaviour of the local police officers, during the time of former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon in 1971 or thereabout, he turned it to the Nigeria Police Force.

“I am opposed to the state police because of the benefit of hindsight, how they behaved in those days, unless you want to throw away the benefits of history”, he said.

The former IGP lamented that the police is going down the drain, confronted with so many problems.

He said, “There is no equipment, no manpower, no welfare. They are demoralized, and  frustrated.

“We need to ginger the police to do something, by encouraging them”.

“I have equally said time without number, everything has advantages and disadvantages, merits and demerits.

“If you adopt state police, the state government that cannot pay teachers, nurses and doctors, can they pay the police?

“You cannot afford to owe police one month salary, insecurity will be at the highest level in that state. If the state governments can’t  pay the civil servants, I wonder how they can pay the police.”

He appealed to the Federal Government to invest heavily on equipping and training of the police in order to tackle the current insecurity in the country.

Okiro said, “There is gross insecurity in the country. You know Nigeria is part of the world. Insecurity is a global issue, but every country sits down to plan and to devise methods to check   insecurity.

“In Nigeria, the government is equally trying to check insecurity. You cannot get 100 per cent but you can be sure you have done your best and leave the rest to God.

“The government should ensure that security agencies are well equipped and trained. Police is short of manpower, they should recruit more people and give them equipment to solve the problem.

“You cannot solve the problem of insecurity with bare hand. We are in a modern, digitalised world.

“So, you fight insecurity with technology. The government should do something to ensure that security agencies are well equipped to confront these criminals, because the criminals go to the internet, they read. So, they are ahead of the security agencies.

“For you to succeed, the security agencies should be ahead of them and tackle them before they do what they want to do.”

The Clerk to the Senate in his welcome address, identified lack of patriotism among Nigerians as a major ill bedeviling the country.

Akubueze said, “The Nigerian society is bedeviled by self-imposed ills. occasioned by our lack of collective sense of patriotism which, ordinarily should emphasize love for the nation rather than undue recourse to ethno-religious cleavages and clannish leanings.

“Here in OSAN, we are set to chart a new course of national consciousness aimed at cementing the bonds that hold us together as Nigerians rather than the dissimilarities that tend to tear us apart.

“Our sense of fraternity is one that recognizes the fact that we are of diverse ethnic extractions, yet bonded together by a common heritage, a scenario that has helped in fostering love, camaraderie and collective sense of responsibility and purposefulness within our rank and file.

“Of course,we have no doubts whatsoever that OSAN is an Association whose future prosperity is guaranteed, a brotherhood of likeminded individuals whose members would, within the next few years, seize the opportunities open to them to advance their wellbeing as well as that of the larger Nigerian society.

“To actualize our dreams within a record time, all hands must be on deck. We must pull resources together, both human and material in order to create a prosperous and glorious future.”

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Security

Clamour for State Police gains traction at security conference

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Solomon Arase
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***As Arase recommends citizens’ engagement

***Wike expresses confidence that efforts against insecurity in FCT is yielding results

The chairman Police Service commission Dr. Solomon Arase on Thursday recommended citizens’ engagement in the fight against criminality through a multi-faceted approach that involves building trust, empowering citizens and fostering a sense of shared responsibility for public safety.
Arase’s recommendation was made in a paper titled: “Strenghtening Security: Engaging Citizens in Nigeria’s fight against crime and criminality” which he presented at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ)/New Star Newspaper organised National Security Comference on Thursday, at the NAF Conference Center, Abuja

proffered a lasting solution to the heightened security challenges in the country that has almost defied all possible solution,
“By implementing initiatives such as community policing forums, crime reporting apps, and neighborhood watch programs, communities can work together with law enforcement to prevent crime and create safer, more vibrant neighborhoods.
There are several initiatives that can be implemented to engage the citizenry in crime fighting, including Community Policing Fora therough Establishment of community policing fora where citizens can meet with law enforcement officials to discuss crime trends, share information, and collaborate on crime prevention strategies.
Accoeding to him, the fora can help build trust and cooperation between the community and law enforcement and empower citizens to take an active role in crime prevention.
Another initiatives Crime Reporting Apps is in developing mobile applications that allow citizens to report crimes anonymously and securely. “These apps can provide a platform for citizens to share information about suspicious activities, crimes, and other concerns with law enforcement, helping to improve response times and reduce crime rates.

Neighborhood Watch Programs he said encourage citizens to form neighborhood watch programs to monitor and report suspicious activities in their communities.
He said, the programs can help deter criminals and provide an extra layer of security for residents.
Explaining further he indicated that Education and Awareness Campaigns is crucial to inform citizens about crime prevention strategies, importance of reporting crimes, and how to stay safe.
“These campaigns can be conducted through community meetings, social media, and other channels.

“Establishing volunteer programs that allow citizens to contribute to crime prevention efforts. Volunteers can assist law enforcement with tasks such as patrolling neighborhoods, conducting safety audits, and organizing community events.
“Organizing citizen patrols where trained volunteers patrol neighborhoods and report suspicious activities to law enforcement. These patrols can help deter criminal behavior and provide a visible presence in the community.
He canvassed for engaging young people in crime prevention efforts through initiatives such as youth mentorship programs, after-school activities, and community service projects. “These programs can help keep young people engaged and provide them with positive outlets for their energy and creativity.
Other solutions he said should include establishing victim support services that provide counseling, legal assistance, and other support to crime victims and their families.
“These services can help victims recover from the trauma of crime and provide them with the resources they need to rebuild their lives.
He reiterated the need to encourag citizens to participate in civic activities such as town hall meetings, community cleanups, and local government initiatives.
“This can help foster a sense of community and collective responsibility for crime prevention.
“Forming partnerships between law enforcement, businesses, and community organizations to develop and implement crime prevention strategies can leverage resources and expertise from multiple sectors to address crime more effectively.
The former inspector General of police said the fight against crime in Nigeria is a complex and multifaceted challenge that requires the collective efforts of all stakeholders, including government agencies, law enforcement, community leaders, and individual citizens. While progress has been made in some areas, such as the establishment of specialized agencies and the implementation of targeted interventions, much work remains to be done to address the root causes of crime and create a safer and more secure environment for all Nigerians.

“One of the key lessons learned from the experiences of other countries is the importance of engaging the citizenry in crime prevention efforts.
“Initiatives such as community policing, neighborhood watch programs, and crime reporting apps can empower citizens to take an active role in keeping their communities safe.
“By building trust and cooperation between law enforcement and the community, these initiatives can help reduce crime rates and improve public safety.
He also canvassed for the underlying socioeconomic factors that contribute to crime are addressed for long-term success.
“This includes investing in education, job creation, and social support programs that provide individuals with alternatives to a life of crime. Strengthening governance and the rule of law, promoting transparency and accountability, and addressing corruption are also essential for creating an environment where crime cannot thrive.
“Finally, it is important to recognize that crime prevention is a shared responsibility that requires the collaboration of all stakeholders.
“This includes government agencies, law enforcement, community organizations, businesses, and individual citizens. By working together, we can create a safer and more secure Nigeria for future generations.
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Nyesome Wike in his welcome address acknowledged that over the past few months, the nation’s capital has faced its fair share of security challenges, as have many regions across our great nation.
Represented by the acting Permanent Secretary of the ministry Dr. Shamsu Yahaya said, news, especially of kidnappings and the infamous “one chance” commercial car robberies made headline news.

“I am however pleased to report that through concerted efforts and the dedication of our security agencies, we have made significant strides in addressing these challenges.
“Our approach has been multifaceted, combining robust law enforcement measures with proactive community engagement initiatives.
“Furthermore, we have prioritized community-oriented policing approaches, fostering trust, and cooperation between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. By empowering local stakeholders and investing in grassroots initiatives, we have cultivated a culture of vigilance and resilience at the grassroots level.

“My tour of the six Area Councils has galvanized the populace and reassured them that they are not alone in this fight to safeguard their lives and property.
“Nevertheless, our work is far from over. As we gather here today, let us reaffirm our collective commitment to safeguarding our nation’s security and advancing our development agenda.

He concluded saying he would like all and sundry to leverage the insights shared during the conference to formulate robust policies, forge strategic partnerships, and mobilize resources toward a safer, more prosperous future for all Nigerians.

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Security

Police confirm rescue of kidnapped Abuja-bound GIG and ABC travellers

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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

Kogi State command of the Nigeria Police has confirmed the release of 14 Abuja bound God is Good Motors (GIG) and ABC transports bus passengers abducted by gunmen last Friday.

The victims were traveling in the two buses where kidnapped when the gunmen hijacked the buses on Friday at Inele-Eteke Ogugu new road in Olamaboro Local Government Area of Kogi state.

The police public relations officer, SP William Aya who confirmed the development on Thursday said the rescue operation was carried out by a combined efforts of the Military, Police, hunters and vigilantes.

Aya who did not provide details of how the victims regained their freedom could neither say if any Ransom was paid.

“I can confirm that all the kidnapped victims of God is Good Motors and ABC transports have regained freedom”, the PPRO said.

It would be recalled that the GIG bus left Umuahia at about 7:30am on Saturday enroute Abuja but was hijacked along with the ABC bus by the gun-wielding hoodlums who abducted all the passengers.

The development was said to have irked and prompted the state Commissioner of Police Bethrand Onuoha to deployed the Police Tactical Squad consisting of Quick Response Unit, Police Mobile Force, Counter-Terrorism Unit, as well as conventional Police personnel to comb the bushes in an effort to rescue the victims. (Ends)

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CHRCR urges FG, States to engage youths in counter terrorism efforts

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Participants at the Town Hall Meeting
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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

Conscience For Human Rights And Conflict Resolution (CHRCR), a Civil Society Organization, has called on the Federal and State Governments to evolve strategies to positively engage young persons in counter terrorism efforts.

The organization made the call in a Communique issued at the end of a One-day Town Hall Meeting At Community Level on “Inspiring Youths For Leadership” for Kogi East Senatorial District at Wisdom Home Hotel, Aiyigba, Dekina Local Government Area.

The meeting was organized by CHRCR in partnership with the Nigerian Women Trust Fund with the support of MacArthur Foundation in furtherance of the Senatorial engagement on Youth in leadership campaign at State level in Kogi State.

The Communique signed by Mr Idris Miliki Abdul, Executive Director CHRCR, said it has been noticed that youths constitute a major contributing to the insecurity through their indulgence in violent extremism leading to terrorism.

It said that there was therefore, need to positively engage them in the counter terrorism efforts of government at both national and sub national levels.

The Communique attributed the “JAPA” syndrome to lack of confidence in the system of leadership and governance in Nigeria by young persons and called on government at all levels to critically address the issue.

“There must be a conscious effort at youth empowerment by government and other stakeholders to restore confidence in government and encourage youths towards leadership positions.

“The concept of mentorship for young persons in leadership must be taken seriously by both State and Non State Actors.

“The Government through the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Ministry of Information, Kogi State Youth Development Commission, etc, must build knowledge and improve awareness of young persons on leadership and its various processes”, it said.

Participants at the Town Hall Meeting also frowned at the issue of vote buying and selling, saying that citizens must desist from the act as it disenfranchises them of their right to select credible leaders.

“Vote buying reduces you to a commodity that can be cheaply bought and affects development and good governance apart being a criminal offence”, the Communique hinted.

As part of measures to prove youth participation in leadership and governance the CSO and participants called for proper mentorship of the youths by leaders and called for Constitutional amendment to remove the age barriers.

“The constitutional requirement on the age of contest must be amended to remove the Constitutional challenge to young persons’ involvement in in elections leading to good governance”, it said.

The One-day Town Hall Meeting featured among others, presentations and sessions including “Inspiring Youths for Leadership” by Executive Director CHRCR, Mr Idris Miliki Abdul.

It also featured, “Challenges of Youths in Attaining Leadership Positions and the Way Forward” by Executive Director, Initiative for Grassroots Advancement in Nigeria (INGRA), Mr Hamza Aliyu.

The Town Hall Meeting had leaders from Youth groups, Women groups from the East Senatorial District, Students from Prince Abubakar Audu University (formerly Kogi State University), Anyigba, and Media practitioners in attendance. (Ends)

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