By Jérôme-Mario Chijioke Utomi
It no longer serves any purpose to say that the Nigerian nation is currently plagued by a high rate of insecurity which includes but is not limited to banditry, armed robbery and kidnapping, no longer d news. These sad daily events have become flesh of words and now dwell among us.
The novel aspect of the conversation is that the weak, flawed and unclear provisions of the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 not only exacerbate the challenge and discourage development in the country, but, unfortunately responsible for the myriad problems facing the nation. in a way that sees both Nigeria and Nigerians keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.
However, if there has been a development in recent times that has sent signals about the urgent imperative for our leaders to abandon the habit of addressing security issues in the country, which has moved to the “level superior” with the same thinking used when it was established, and envision state/community policing in the country, this is the outcome that followed the ongoing monitoring contract recently awarded by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL ) to Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, a company owned by High Chief Government Ekpemupolo (AKA Tompolo), the Ibe-Ebidouwei of the Ijaw Nation and the Global Ambassador of the Ijaw people.
According to the comments, if the country’s policy makers could take the time to study Tantita’s recruitment process, operational dynamics and environmental matrix, they (the public office holders) would discover without work that Tantita as a company and pipeline monitoring project operates on the wheels of the State/Community Policing Models.
They share the same spirit, the same virtues and attributes.
Take, for example, the majority of Tantita’s security personnel were recruited and posted in the same community/environment they came from. They operate and monitor pipelines in their communities and surrounding areas.
As a result of this security model/roadmap, just two months after Tompolo was awarded the multi-billion naira oil security contract, he uncovered over 58 illegal points in Delta and Bayelsa States where crude oil was stolen. Specifically, there was a media report that Tantita Security Service Nigeria Limited on Thursday 7th October 2022 successfully arrested a tanker loaded with an unspecified amount of crude oil on the Escravos River in the Government Area local Warri South West of the Delta. State.
Similar results and breakthroughs are precisely what state/community policing could achieve if allowed in the country.
The reason for the above assertion is not far-fetched.
In addition to the new realization that, on a global scale, the provision of security can no longer be considered in a unitary way, because such a reflection is outdated if an objective analysis can replace an emotional discussion concerning the state police /community, it is obvious that there are no police or state police models, but there are fundamental differences between the two. While the cultural and geographical homogeneity, which are strong factors and advantages of the state police, is lost in the federal police, the state police depends on these factors and other factors such as history and friendship, to keep society in order and without anarchy. This value definitely makes for a productive font without the clutter. And state governments have the capacity to fulfill this obligation.
Division General President Muhammadu Buhari (Retired) is aware of this fact.
In August 2019, while welcoming traditional rulers from the northern part of the country led by the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, the president said ongoing police reform would include recruitment more hands, the cultivation of stronger local intelligence and networking with communities, traditional leaders and adequate training. This, in specific terms, will include the recruitment of more police officers to their local government areas, where they would then be stationed in the best policing traditions in the world. Together with state governments, we intend to improve the equipping of police forces with advanced technologies and equipment that can facilitate their work.
In his speech, he not only emphasized the importance but also highlighted the virtues and attributes of recruiting more police officers to their local government areas, where they would then be stationed in the best policing traditions in the world.
The next question is; having seen from Tantita’s examples and accomplishments the usefulness of recruiting and allowing officers to work in their familiar surroundings, what alternative is open to the nation but state/community policing, of especially since it is obvious that the vast majority of states can afford it.
In my view, there is no alternative but to have a well-equipped and fully accountable state police controlled by state governors.
In fact, there are other major Buhari-specific reasons why the constitution needs to be changed urgently to accommodate the state police.
Fundamentally, if ensuring adequate security for the masses is the government’s priority, it should be the collective responsibility of the citizens to contribute to the success of the process. What the masses are saying and wanting as far as I know is that stuffing the second schedule of the exclusive legislative list of the 1999 Constitution with about 68 items has caused Abuja to suffer from “political obesity” and must lose weight via the power of devolution.
As noted elsewhere, the inflated exclusive list has resulted in our nation currently presenting itself as an inverted pyramid with more power concentrated at the top and the base not formidable enough, making collapse inevitable unless urgent and fundamental action is taken. are not taken. What state policing/restructure proponents are saying is that the majority of the stuff is too insignificant for the feds to handle and should serve the greater good of the people if left in between the hands of state and local governments.
Utomi Jerome-Mario is the Program Coordinator (Media and Public Policy), Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA), a Lagos-based non-governmental organization (NGO). He can be contacted via [email protected]/08032725374