State policing the way to go -Osinbajo

At a security summit yesterday, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has explained why Nigeria is ripe for state police.
The inability of governors, as state chief security officers, to commandeer police forces has always been on the front burner of complaints about defects in the nation’s structure.
Present at the summit were the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, Chief of Army Staff, Lt-General Tukur Buratai, and the Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok-Ete Ekwe, among others.
“We cannot realistically police a country the size of Nigeria centrally from Abuja. State police and other community policing methods are clearly the way to go,” Osinbajo told participants at the two-day National Security Summit organised by the Senate.
Highlighting the country’s “complex” security challenges, the vice president noted: “Securing Nigeria’s over 900,000 square kilometres and its 180 million people requires far more men and material than we have at the moment. It also requires a continuous re-engineering of our security architecture and strategy. This has to be a dynamic process.
“For a country our size, meeting the one policeman to 400 persons ratio prescribed by the UN would require triple our current police force, far more funding of the police force and far more funding of our military and other security agencies.”
Osinbajo who declared the summit open also stressed the need to boost collaboration with Nigeria’s neighbours in the Chad Basin by strengthening security at border communities, thus preventing the movement of small arms, and facilitating the disarming of armed pastoralists and other bandits.
“We must avoid the danger,” he said, of the security challenges spiraling into religious or ethnic conflict.
On the controversial issue of allocating land to herdsmen, the vice president said: “Let me reiterate that on no account will any land be seized or forciblly taken to create ranches or grazing areas. All insinuations to that effect should be disregarded. Instead, it is in our view that states that are willing should cooperate even with willing investors for commercially viable government-supported ranches or livestock production centres for commercial use.”

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