Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, on Wednesday said Nigeria would overcome the ongoing security challenges if it decentralizes the current centralised policing.
While acknowledging the intervention of community policing, the governor noted that the intervention was inadequate as it is still being controlled from the centre.
He added that the constitutional provision that assigned the role of Chief Security Officer to governors ought to have given them more powers to perform their responsibilities effectively.
Oyetola, who spoke at the 2nd Annual Colloquium of the Sultan Maccido Institute for Peace, Leadership and Development Studies, at the University of Abuja identified poverty as a key source of insecurity.
He noted that poverty created a gulf between the rich and the poor just as it created inequitable allocation of resources which pits one region against the other.
The Osun Governor noted that security, governance, and sustainable economic development are the tripod upon which a nation’s prosperity and wellbeing stand, adding that security is the facilitator of the other two factors.
He further noted that criminality has no religion or ethnicity.
While insisting that Amotekun is a child of necessity, Oyetola said the security arrangement is complementing the convention security agencies to effectively tackle armed banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery among other crimes.
He said Amotekun became necessary because “the nation’s conventional security agencies are overstretched and sorely underfunded.
The Police had since said it needed about 155,000 additional hands to effectively police the nation.
The nation’s security agencies as presently constituted are too centralised and too far from the grassroots to adequately provide the required security for the nation. Worse still, they are unfamiliar with the terrains where crimes take place.
It is our belief that our people understand the topography of their communities more and can govern them better.
“The nation’s expansive forests have unfortunately become the hideouts of bandits, kidnappers, and other criminals.
With the establishment of Amotekun, the forests of the South West are now better policed. The issues that make Amotekun inevitable in the South West are the same in other regions of the nation. Other regions may wish to emulate the South West to put structures in place to rid their regions of crime.
“Our recent experience where the attempt to confront armed banditry headlong in the North resulted in their incursion into the South West and other regions that were erroneously perceived to be immune from the insecurity challenge is proof that each region has to be adequately policed for the region to know peace.”
Oyetola added that “Abraham Maslow identifies security as one the foremost of the seven needs of man.
This classification is true for all entities and it means that security is and should be the first desire of man or any entity. The corollary of this classification is that insecurity is the first enemy of man or entity. Experts aver that security is a crucial factor in governance.
Security makes governance, business, development, trade, commerce and every ingredient associated with governance possible and predictable.”
While noting that security holds the master key to planning, governance and sustainable development as the whole outcome could be jeopardised by insecurity, the Osun Governor was quick to add that the government at all levels must not be left alone in the fight against insecurity in the country.
Oyetola called for collective and concerted efforts to deliver the security that we desire as a nation as a people.
Explaining the need to involve Traditional Rulers in tackling the nation’s security challenges, the Osun Governor said, “For proper security of lives and property of our people and the prompt containment of growing challenges, we must inevitably now engage our traditional institutions.
Governors particularly cannot afford not to look in the direction of the traditional institution. This is because every conflict is local and as such, traditional institutions cannot be left out of the scheme. Traditional rulers know their people and also have better strategies for engaging them. Therefore, we must ride on this to be able to protect our nation from implosion.
“Aside from ensuring that adequate funding is made available to this important institution to run efficiently, our administration considers them as critical stakeholders who must be regularly engaged and embedded in our inclusive governance framework.
This approach has yielded invaluable gains in our determined quest to protect the lives and properties of our people.
Today, thanks to this invaluable partnership, Osun is widely regarded as one of the safest states in Nigeria,” he said.