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Boko Haram: Lagos 57 Council Chairmen Advocate For State, Community Policing



Chairmen of the 57 Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in Lagos State have called for the adoption of state and community policing as the only way to effectively tackle worsening insecurity in the nation.

The council chairmen said the Boko Haram threat could have been well handled at the initial time if state and community policing was adopted by the country to police the states and grassroots.

The chairmen, under the umbrella of Lagos Conference 57, at a 2-Day Workshop on “Security Strategies, Grassroots Awareness and Information Management for Key Functionaries and Stakeholders in Lagos State,” held at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria, decried the security situation in the nation and submitted that the only way to curb insecurity is when the concept of state and community policing was adopted.

Chairman, Conference 57, Akeem Sulaiman said from the foregoing and the current happenings in Nigeria, there is a problem of insecurity which needed urgent attention and re-strategizing, saying that one of the most increasingly worrisome issues in Nigeria today is the issue of insecurity.

“Thousands of lives and properties have been lost during the incessant killings, bombings and abductions in various parts of the country under the jack boot of Boko Haram insurgency. Also, the Militancy in the Niger Delta has degenerated to oil bunkering and oil theft. It has created serious economic problem and loss of great revenue to the nation.

“However, it is important to ask the salient question, why has our youths resulted in destroying our commonwealth? The answer/s are not farfetched: People have fingered some reason for these problems such as, wide spread of poverty in the nation, lack of job for the teaming youth ,the existence of inequality in the wealth distribution in the Nation, Open stealing of the Nation’s wealth by some political class and job insecurity. However, it does not mean that Nigeria is on the brink of collapse because of the above security challenges, as is being insinuated in some quarters,” he said.

Sulaiman stated that one of the strategies to be adopted to tackle the issue of insecurity headlong, is for us to look into the State and Local Government inclusion into the security framework-Community Policing, which had been widely suggested as one of the best channels to handle crimes and insecurity situation of the country.

He said the idea of State and Community policing has gained popularity, as a result of the surge in the rate of highly sophisticated crimes in the country and the inability of the federal police alone to contain the challenges. I

“t is believed that the closeness of the state and community police to the people, places it in more proactive position for the detecting and uprooting of any emerging crime before it grows. I strongly believe that state and Local Government police will come up with lasting solutions to insecurity in the country and there is no need for doubts, while the people suffer. Nigerians are now simply on the edge.

“Our people now suspect the worst and expect the worst because of the several killings and bombings in the country with the government at the centre hardly able to do much about the problem,” he said.

He argued that the security strategy, therefore, is for State and Local Government police to be taken into consideration and given full support so that they would be able to manage criminality and tackle the problem of insecurity as the local police would be able to reach everywhere in a given state better than federal police from other parts of the country, adding that it would also allow for more communication network between the police and the community.

“In the same vein, we should entrench equity, fairness and justice in our relationships at personal, inter-governmental and societal levels, as the absence of social justice is invitation to chaos and violence, which threatens our security. Closely related is the imperative for us to have mutual respect for one another regardless of our religious, ethnic and cultural differences, to engender peace, unity and harmony.

“We should institutionalize policies and programmes that foster national integration and citizenship, and avoid pitfalls that undermine our unity and patriotism as Nigerians. This is because of the cosmopolitan nature of Lagos State,” he added.

Sulaiman said given these dynamics therefore, security is not an end in itself, but a critical means to the realization of National, State and Local Government interests and aspirations, saying this is because the nation was bounded by the provisions of the Nigeria Constitution, which states inter alia in section 14 subsection 2b that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.”

He said the chairmen believed that National, State and Local Government security would be enhanced, if the nation handles its internal security challenges effectively by fighting poverty, reducing unemployment, eradicating corruption, through an effective national leadership that would be committed to the economic prosperity of Nigerians.

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