Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has faulted the centralised security arrangement in the country, arguing that the current structure doesnâ€™t â€œmake sense from a political and economic standpoint.â€
The governor made the submission as the state government finalised plans to engage 200 youths from each local government area in the state, to provide local security intelligence, as part of effort to sustain the security of lives and property.
Speaking to participants of the 2018 Senior Executive Course 40, National Institutes for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, who were on a study tour to the state, Obaseki said the state hopes to benefit from the insights from the teamâ€™s visit to reinforce the stateâ€™s security architecture.
According to him, â€œWhy not have one strong federal police system and allow the states and even local government areas to also have some policing arrangements. And if you are concerned or worried about abuse, the central police system should be well equipped and funded that it can demobilise any of the state or sub-national police systems that may want to cross the line.
â€œWe need to strengthen the judiciary and make them lot more efficient so that they can perform their role. For us as a state, we realise that without a strong court system, we cannot have social stability and you will not have economic growth. So, we have invested in the judiciary as much as we have invested in other arms of government. We are building new courthouses, which shows the premium we give to security and in Edo, people are conscious that there is rule of law and when you break the law, you will pay the price.â€
He said the state has peculiar challenges because of its location, noting, â€œIf you look at the structure and location of the state, you will see that we are vulnerable security-wise, because we are a logistics hub, and this makes security a bit more challenging.
â€œWe cannot understand and articulate the issue of our security outside our economic and political contexts and I believe that should be the starting point. Because if we, as a country, do not begin to restructure particularly the economic arrangements and begin to invest a lot more in public growth for the benefit of the country, and if we are not able to begin to achieve a level of economic growth, security will continue to be a major challenge.â€
At a separate meeting with the delegation from NIPS, held earlier in the office of the Secretary to the Edo State Government (SSG), Obaseki who was represented by the SSG, Osarodion Ogie Esq., said â€œfrom May 1, 200 youths would be engaged in each Local Government Area in the state, for intelligence gathering in their local areas. They would be engaged into the Public Works Volunteer (PUWOV) scheme. In 2017, 250 volunteers with PUWOV were recruited to assist the state restore law and order.
According to him, â€œThe youths will be trained by the Nigerian Police as we have reached an agreement with the hierarchy of the Force to provide the youths world-class community policing training to prepare them to discharge their tasks effectively and help fight crime in the society.â€
â€œA minimum of 20 young men and women will be recruited from each ward where they reside. The state government would deploy these youths on intelligence gathering which will include supplying relevant authorities with needed information required in the fight against crime in the society,â€ he added.
He said the group would be expected to know, Â identify and collect information about strange persons who enter the community as well as provide intelligence on vandals of public schoolsâ€™ infrastructure.
Leader of the Senior Executive Course, Assistant Inspector General of Police, Muhammad Musa Katsina commended the governor for the progress made in restoring law and order as well as creating conducive environment for investors in the state.
Katsina noted that crime rate in the country requires the contribution of all, adding â€œin the past, issues bothering on crime was the business of everyone. Unresolved crimes damage the reputation of law enforcement agencies as well as threaten the countryâ€™s internal security framework.â€