A body of chairmen of 20 local governments and 37 local council development areas in Lagos State yesterday canvassed the inclusion of state and local governments in the country’s security framework.
The body, also known as Conference 57, lamented what it described as the growing incapacity of the Nigeria Police to contain diverse security challenges, which it said, had constituted threats to Nigeria’s indivisibility and unity.
The Chairman of Conference 57, Mr. Hakeem Suleiman, expressed the concerns in Lagos, at a workshop on security strategies, grassroots awareness and information management for functionaries and stakeholders in the state.
The workshop was addressed by a wide range of stakeholders including the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who was represented by the Commissioner for Rural Development, Hon. Cornelius Ojelabi, his local government counterpart, Mr. Ademorin Kuye, and the state’s Attorney-General, Mr. Adeola Ipaye, among others.
At the workshop, the chairman lamented that there “is a problem of insecurity which needs urgent attention and re-strategising. Adding,”One of the most increasingly worrisome issues in Nigeria today is the issue of insecurity.”
He explained that thousands of lives and properties “have been lost during the incessant killings, bombings and abductions in various parts of the country under the jack boot of the Boko Haram insurgency.”
He cited the militancy in the Niger Delta, which he said, had degenerated to oil bunkering and oil theft, stating that it had created serious economic problem and loss of great revenue to the nation.
He, therefore, attributed the security challenges to the wide spread poverty in the nation, lack of job for the teeming youth, the existence of inequality in the wealth distribution in the nation, open stealing of the nation’s wealth by some in the political class and job insecurity.
But the chairman said one of the strategies “to be adopted to tackle the issue of insecurity headlong is to ensure the inclusion of the state and local governments in the security framework through community policing.
“It has been widely suggested as one of the best channels to handle crimes and insecurity in the country. The idea of state and community policing has gained popularity, as a result of the surge in the rate of highly sophisticated crimes in the country and the inability of the federal police alone to contain the challenge.”
He said the closeness of the state and communities “to the people places it in a more proactive position for the detection and uprooting of any emerging crime before it grows. I strongly believe that state and local government police will come up with lasting solutions to insecurity in the country and there is no need for doubts, while the people suffer.