Insecurity: Govs are Frustrated, Almost Helpless, Says El-Rufai

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Nasir El-Rufai

By Ejiofor Alike

Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, yesterday disclosed that the Nigerian governors were frustrated by the security challenges in the country, saying their roles as provided for in the Nigerian Constitution were not satisfactory.

El-Rufai, who is in Dubai, suggested the way to go to ensure the country surmounts its various security challenges such as insurgency, banditry, and kidnapping among others during an interview with Channels Television.

He stressed that the recent #EndSARS protest by youths against police brutality in parts of the country has exposed the inability of the governors despite being called the Chief Security Officers (CSOs) of their states.

“We are all frustrated. I am frustrated in my state, many governors are frustrated in their states; we are called chief security officers only in name, we have no control over cohesive instruments of the state,” the governor said.

He added, “We are almost helpless. The #EndSARS protest clearly showed the limit to the control of governors over the police and the military.

“Some of us have more influence than others, but to a large extent, you ask the commissioner of police to do something and he has to clear with the Inspector-General of Police; this is the reality.

“We are not in control of the police, I don’t determine who gets posted to my state as CP and if I give him directives, he can decide to flout the directives. So, we are all frustrated.”

He made case for the decentralisation of the police force will go a long way in addressing the security problems bedevilling the nation.

According to him, Nigeria is the only country in the world that is a federation that has only one police force.

The governor stated that the governors had engaged in arguments that states should be allowed to have their own police, while local governments should be allowed to have community police.

He noted that most state governments were responsible for the running cost of the police such as vehicles, fuel, communication, while the Federal Government was only responsible for the payment of the salaries of policemen.

El-Rufal, therefore, stressed the need to recruit more personnel into the police force and ensure they were rightly deployed into designated areas of duty.

“The number of policemen we have in Nigeria is inadequate, it is less than half of what we need and a large percentage of them are engaged in non-police duties like carrying handbags of the wives of important people.

“We need to have a greater footprint of police in Nigeria and the only way to achieve that in a fast track manner is to amend the Constitution and put policing on the concurrent list, as recommended by the APC True Federalism Committee so that we have more policemen.”