The challenge of these times | The Guardian Nigeria News
It does not require any special gift of discernment to see that all is not well in our country as it is not with the larger world to varying degrees. But perhaps ours is more troubling because the causes of most afflictions are inexcusable.
Take the example of the police. All the clamor for the establishment of the state police has fallen on deaf ears.
Professor Adeyeye, a late dispensation senator, told the Senate that all effective and efficient policing is local. Former President Ibrahim Babangida said the feared abuse of local police by governors was exaggerated. Jonah Jang spoke about his experience as governor of Plateau State and why the establishment of a state police is imperative. Henry Seriake Dickson, now a senator, said the same thing when he was governor of Bayelsa State. Indeed, what I call the All Conference of Nigerian Governors, that is to say the Governors’ Forum under the leadership of Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari, has been pushing for the establishment of a police force. ‘State. The governors of the South reiterated their call in this direction during their meeting which has just ended in Lagos. The Nasir el-Rufai Committee on Restructuring recommended it as the wish of Nigerians across the country. Former president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Joseph Daodu asked him quite simply: “The state police are for law and order.
Those who oppose and block the establishment of a state police force, as obvious and compelling as it is, say all we need is to increase the numerical force of the police force and to fund the organization. Also provide police and officers with adequate training and retraining. It’s the same old hat, the same beaten track! The current Nigerian police force stands at 370,000 to provide security for approximately 220 million Nigerians and their property. Former Inspector General Ibrahim Idris said the police needed an additional 150,000 troops from 2017 to bolster the police force spread over five years, which meant an additional 30,000 hands each year. The police-to-population ratio recommended by the UN is 1 to 400 people, which Nigeria has not been able to meet. Idris said there had been no recruiting into the force between 2011 and 2016, when approval was obtained to bring in 10,000 new hands.
Governors are mandated to be primarily responsible for the security of their states, but are powerless due to the absence of police, a creation of states they can control. Misguided resistance to the establishment of the state police by the Buhari administration has plunged the country into utter disorder. I have argued four times in these pages that it is inconceivable that if Borno State had its own police force, the emergence of Boko Haram under Governor Sheriff’s watch would not have been nipped in the bud. There was no way that the largely indigenous state police would have stood idly by watching their communities disintegrate socially, politically and economically. It wouldn’t have been natural. They would undoubtedly have given anything to protect their land and their people. In the Maiduguri axis alone, there are around 2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs). Governor Sam Ortom of Benue State said the other day that there were a million internally displaced people in his state. In Niger, Kaduna, Katsina and Yobe, the story is not much different. The likelihood that a governor will abuse his state police to seek us out for a million refugees is low.
The Presidency’s argument was to ask: States which cannot pay salaries regularly, how will they pay their police? Can we risk not paying the policy when due? At first glance, the argument may seem appealing. Upon further reflection, we will find that it is precisely because of the foreseeable lack of security that economic activities are sluggish or at a standstill and that the revenues from which governors must fulfill their obligations are not there or are scattered. Many industries have left Nigeria, most to Ghana, the relocation most blamed on insecurity. It is a basic investment instinct that no investor would put their money in a country that has security problems, a country that is insecure. Where there are no industries, there is no beneficiary and there is no purchasing power to revive the booming economy. There will be massive unemployment fueling the rising crime rate threatening society. Governor Sam Ortom said the majority of people in IDP camps are farmers. Besides not being able to provide food security for the state and the nation as a whole, they are also unable to pay income tax to the state. Despite the state’s shortfall, many states literally fund the police in their area. It is believed that all that the federal police allowance covers are salaries. Most state governments purchase vehicles for the police in their states, provide other logistics services as well as housing. All of this shows that the governors are ready to go. As I was preparing this column yesterday, it was reported that Boko Haram terrorists tore up communities near the hometown of Federation government secretary Boss Mustapha and killed 24 people in one of them. , Dabna. In what is now identified as a kidnapping epidemic, four people have been reported kidnapped in Ekiti by gunmen who demanded a ransom of N50 million to free them. Just a week later, a traditional chief, Oba Benjamin Osho, was arrested and his captors demanded 20 million naira in ransom. On Monday, gunmen suspected of being armed thieves shot dead an army officer and injured a soldier on the Kano-Maiduguri highway, according to reports from Dutse, Jigawa state.
The failure to put in place the state police has created such a frightening problem that it is rightly seen as a failure of the challenge of dragging its feet in the inevitable restructuring of the nation’s government system. A situation that forces the governor of El-Rufai state to withdraw his son from a public school for fear that the boy will be the target of kidnapping dramatizes the seriousness of the security situation in the country. This is a serious signal. What would lower beings do? However, as the ancient Yoruba would say: “Bi a se bi eru be e l’ase bi omo; eru ni baba ona the o jin! this translates roughly as: “All men are born equal, whether they are free or slaves.” The house may be far away, but the slave also has a father. The establishment of the state police is a feature of the restructuring. What about shepherds leading their animals to graze on farms and destroying businesses, small, medium and large scale businesses built with heavy loans? What about the killings of farmers, mutilating and violating the dignity of women who were either owners or the wives or daughters of owners? Both from body language and from statements from the authorities, there was no help. It was a display of partisanship and callousness. As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the famous young writer, said, quoting Peter Tosh: “Everyone calls for peace, but no one calls for justice. Adichie wrote on what she captioned “Thoughts on the Nnamdi Kanu Man”. She says, “I speak because creating a villain or a hero often depends on who is telling the story. Representation issues; perspective becomes the thin line between an activist and a terrorist.
This brings me to my take on Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Adeyemo Igboho. One based his struggle on the alienation of his people and the other on the injustice inflicted on his people in Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun, the two regions of Oyo State where raging shepherds who not only drove their animals to wreak havoc on their farms, but killed and maimed them and impaired the dignity of their wives and daughters, in some cases even killed them, and all atrocities with arrogant impunity. Northern Establishment spokespersons were not interested in the cause but only in the effects of the crisis in the regions. They rubbed the salt into the wounds. They blamed the victims but not the attackers. Until today, the impression seems to be created that the murder of the daughter of the chief of Afenifere, the main settlement in the Southwest, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, was only one of these things. Nnamdi Kanu, whom the security agencies were looking for, was attacked in Kenya, arrested and taken home. News of Kanu’s arrest was not dead when security guards broke into Igboho’s home in Ibadan at midnight on Sunday. It was in the wee hours of the day. As it stands, it would appear that there is a confluence of goals at the end of the day.
It will take a political sense backed by love, generosity and wisdom to stop the precipitous decline. And that’s an understatement. I have commented on Nnamdi Kanu’s struggles twice. Whether it is Nnamdi Kanu or Sunday Igboho, I attribute all this to human mismanagement of the Presidency and which allowed the grievances to escalate. I wonder if it would have been too much for the President to pick up his phone and call Sunday Igboho and say, “I heard about what happened to Dr Fatai Aborode, your uncle. We’re doing something about it; I assure you that we will get to the bottom of the problem.
Feeling good that an entire president had called him in person, he would like to climb onto the roof and jump with unstoppable joy. It would spread the encounter far and wide, and it would calm the nerves and smother the tension. President Biden’s photo has gone viral showing him bending down to calm the murdered son of George Floyd by police, an incident that rocked the world and led to global protests with the BlackLifeMatters tag. Killer police officer Derek Michael Chauvin was sentenced to 22 years in prison last month.
The question the nation will have to answer is why will anyone, any group of people want to separate from a union for which they will find fulfillment and happiness? Does a Happy Marriage Offer Grounds for Divorce? Why would a man or woman want to leave a marriage in which, like the strings of musical notes, both vibrate in a joyous sway and there is a feeling and recognition of equal value? Where like in a country, separation can be a bit complicated, what options are left? Whether in the West or the East, what I understand leaders are saying is, “Restructuring is the answer.
Next week: Further thoughts on restructuring.