PGF boss advocates radical reforms to tackle insecurity

…Gives conditions for state police in Nigeria

Godwin Amunde

Director-General, Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), Dr Salihu Lukman, has called for urgent radical reforms of the current security structure in Nigeria.

He said State Police can only effectively operate in Nigeria under the supervision of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), adding that the idea of amending the Constitution to enable State Governments to establish state police was unavoidable.

In a statement on Friday in Abuja titled ‘Nigerian Politics and Fallacy of PDP – APC Semblance,’Dr. Lukman noted that there was also need for a new funding arrangement, once the creation of state police was considered, to ensure their effective operations  

He said state policing needs to be established with a federal structure to regulate its operations.

“The current security structure in the country needs to be radically reformed. Issues of amending the laws to enable state governments establish state police are clearly unavoidable.

“However, there are conditions that must be met before any decision to establish state police can serve as a good response to Nigeria’s security challenges.

“These include the requirement that processes of regulating the operations of the state police should be centralised as part of the functions of the Federal Police. Under that, for instance, issues of recruitment, qualification, background checks for those to be recruited, enforcement of disciplinary requirement, arms procurement and training for weapon handling, etc. should be handled at Federal level so that there are uniform standards across the country.

“Outside regulations, there are issues of funding. Most time, Nigerians make proposals in terms of how government should address challenges with the assumption that funding is given, which means that government can always mobilise the resources.

“This is mostly exaggerated. To address Nigerian security challenges, especially if the establishment of state police is to be considered, there must be a new funding arrangement, which should insulate the operations of Nigeria Police including the new state police to be established from all the uncertainties surrounding public financial management,” he said.

He also faulted people for saying the APC government is similar to the previous PDP government, and emphasised that the APC government has distinguished itself from past governments especially in areas of Infrastructure development, Agriculture and Oil and gas.

“If APC led Federal Government has successfully revived Nigerian Railways, actively implementing around 900 road contracts, covering the construction, reconstruction or rehabilitation of more than 13,000km of Federal roads and highways across the country, out of a total of 35,000km of Federal roads in existence, how many kilometres of road contracts were constructed, reconstructed or rehabilitated throughout PDP’s sixteen years rule?

“What was the specific agricultural initiative of all the PDP led Federal Governments between 1999 and 2015? In the context of these three achievements, and in other areas, the APC led Federal Government was able to succeed where other administrations, including the PDP, have failed. Take the case of the 327km Itakpe-Warri Standard Gauge Rail, completed by the President Buhari led APC administration 33 years after construction began.

“There was the evidential case of the second Niger Bridge, originally conceived decades ago, which is now more than 50 percent completed, and scheduled for commissioning in 2022. There was the case of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, which has defied every PDP administration since 1999.

“There is the case of the new Petroleum Industry Act assented to by President Buhari on Monday, August 16, 2021, which is going to restructure the operations and management of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

“The initiative to put in place a new legal framework for the oil and gas sector started under the PDP government of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, more than two decades ago. It was shrouded in endless national debates and stalemates but was eventually passed by the two chambers of the National Assembly under APC leadership with a six-month transition for the emergence of new institutional framework for the operations of the oil and gas industry in the country,” he said.

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