By Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
The President, Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has stated that lack of willpower to tackle head on Nigeria’s problems by the government is its undoing.
He therefore urged Nigerians to speak out on the problems confronting them.
The Sultan stated this at a one-day retreat for traditional rulers from the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria with the theme: ‘Role of Traditional Rulers in Community Policing in Nigeria’ held at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, Plateau State Thursday.
He stressed that people must speak out on the problems they are facing because “when you know you have problems, the problems are half solved”.
According to him, “When problems come, traditional rulers do not run away but political leaders do. Let us stop running away; let’s sit down and face the problems squarely.
“The problems of this country started when traditional institutions were sidelined and kept aside. We speak for the progress of the nation. We don’t criticise the government but we tell government what it has done right and what it has done wrong, we are part of the government.”
In his address, the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, stated that with the geographical size and population of Nigeria, the need for local policing is very essential for the development of the country and to complement the work of the security agencies like the armed forces and the police.
The monarch said the formation of community policing was very important, adding that certain factors must be put into consideration for maximum benefit for common socio-economic and political development.
He said: “The people of the locality concerned are the one to be enlisted for the formation of community police. They must be people who have the knowledge of the area and all the nooks and crannies of their areas of responsibility like we presently have the formation of Lagos Neighborhood Safety Corps.”
He further posited that those that would be enlisted should be catered for in a way to ensure effective performance, adding that they should be given adequate training, appropriate and commensurate renumeration to boost their morale and educational facilities.
Oba Akinolu added that community policing should have cooperative link chain with the traditional institutions of the area, who know and wield some measure of authority and enjoyed some degree of obeisance from their subject for effective operation.
Also speaking, the Obi of Onitsha. Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Ugochukwu Achebe, disclosed that community policing in Anambra State is working although not perfectly well.
He stressed that community policing involves collaboration with the police because it is not a new phenomenon but synonymous with the neighbourhood watch, which existed in the good old days, adding that unfortunately the police are suspicious of their activities.
Igwe Achebe also said that language was very important because if a policeman is unable to speak the language of the locals he is already disadvantaged.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Director General of NIPSS, Mr. Jonathan Mela Juma, said President Muhammadu Buhari had tasked the institute with the very important duty to conduct a study on the insecurity in the country.
He said the outcome of the retreat will no doubt form part of the policy recommendations which will be presented at the annual parley with the president and members of his cabinet by November this year.