I am sure that, with the recent brutal kidnap and murder of the DSS officer Bindawa at Katsina, the skeptical Northern Establishment that aligns in opposition against the creation of state police would agree that now, a little belated though, is the time for the structures of such force to be put in place by all federating states of Nigeria. Katsina holds a special place in my memory-recall and my youth progression because that town was where I did my NYSC stint.
Thus, when the family members of Officer Bindawa lamented that, upon initiation of attack by the kidnapping “bandits,” they contacted the police station at Batagarawa but no help was dispatched to the trouble scene behind the Federal Secretariat complex, I was deeply troubled in my soul and wondered what has become of by beloveth Katsina. For us NYSC “corpers” back then, we recall that Batagarawa (I have identified this then hamlet-esque settlement as the smallest local government headquarters in Nigeria) was on an approximately axial line with Kurfi and Dutsin-ma, the location of the NYSC camp.
Let all men (and women) of goodwill in Arewa just imagine the trauma that a lack of a functional security architecture at the grassroots level has caused Officer Bindawa’s family. It is especially painful to note that Bindawa was in Katsina to visit family members and so by extension to do financial remittances. Let us all accept that the existing federal police force system cannot ensure the security of lives and property of Nigerians anymore since increasingly numbers of the personnel of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) are being drafted to provide bodyguard services to the “big man” class of Nigeria. We also hear that, to reduce attrition rates during active service, policemen have an unwritten order at the moment to just scram and bolt away from “confrontations” with criminal elements, thereby saving the general inspectorate embarrassing sessions to explain away the reasons the NPF is under-performing. Arewa should now accept that a desire for state police does not translate to a desire for Biafra and Oduduwa to surreptitiously secede.
Sunday Adole Jonah, Department of Physics, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State