In the just concluded week, the calls for restructuring, creation of state police, devolution of power to states and fiscal federalism were on the front burner at the two-day zonal public hearings organized in 12 venues nationwide by the Senate Committee on Constitution Review.
Under the exercise, each of the six geopolitical zones were assigned 2 venues each for individuals and groups to present their demands.
Specifically, the local government workers under the aegis of the Nigeria Union of Local Government (NULGE) requested that local governments should be made autonomous.
Also, in Lagos State, top on the agenda for the people is that the local government should have more share of power since they are closer to the people at the grassroot as this would lead to effective administration.
From the other quarters, the call for devolution of powers was against the current structure which places more responsibilities on the Federal Government to deal with; and so, making FG ineffective in delivering its major responsibilities.
Many stakeholders have consistently cited worsening insecurity in the country, as one of the core government responsibilities where the central government has failed to be efficient; hence, the clamouring for state-controlled police.
Meanwhile, the worsening insecurity in the Southern part of the country may soon ease as the governors adopted the ban on open grazing as a strategy to resolving the prolonged herders-farmers conflict – a situation that is fast degenerating into ethnic conflict.
The Governors who appeared to be comfortable with modern-day ranching system for rearing cattle, stated that they were ready to allocate land to all herders that were willing to register with the states and wished to embrace ranching – the modern method of cattle rearing.
We feel that the current situation in Nigeria involving worsening insecurity, division along ethnic lines and the absence of effective governance, even at the local community level, is enough grounds for the country to be restructured to give more control to state governments that are closer to the people.
Meanwhile, we note that the present central policing system has failed given the country’s land mass and population; hence, the need for a robust community policing architecture that would ensure the protection of lives and properties of citizens irrespective of their location.