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Internal Security: Afenifere Expresses Concern



Tinubu Sets Up Committee On Police Reforms

…Calls On President Tinubu To Issue An Executive Order On State, LG Police, Strengthen The National Police

The pan-Yoruba socio-cultural and political organization, Afenifere, has expressed deep concern over the spate of internal security breaches from various parts of the country in recent times.

The expression of concern was contained in a Press Statement issued by the National Publicity of the organization, Comrade Jare Ajayi, who called on President Bola Tinubu and relevant security agencies to up the ante in tackling the menace.

The concern by the organization was expressed against the backdrop of the gruesome murder of a 62 year old grandmother, Iyanuoluwa Adamolekun, at her Similoluwa area, Agbaluku Arigidi Akoko in Ondo State, kidnapping incidents in Saki, Okaka and Ipapo, Oke ogun, Oyo State within a month, Fulani herders’ attacks on farmers in Afon, Ipokia, Ogun State, Iwere-Ile, Komu and Otu in Oyo State, amputation of a 12 year old Fulani boy in Mayaki, Niger State, the killing of Rev. David Musa of the ECWA in Obajana, Kogi state on October 14, 2023.

Also mentioned were the abduction of about 15 church members in Ondo state in September, the narrow escape of Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni in the hands of terrorists where two police officers died last weekend, massacre of some farmers in Benue State among others. Ditto for the rustling of cows in the north eastern and north western regions of the country as well as the prevention of farmers from freely accessing their farms.

The latter has, naturally, led to a deficit in food items thus occasioning high costs of food items that are available. This was compounded by high cost of transportation due to the removal of fuel subsidy among other things.

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“To worsen the situation, schools are being targeted by criminal elements as reports have it that no fewer than 34 students were kidnapped in five incidents between September 22 and October 15, 2023, alone. Some of the incidents included the abduction of over 24 students of the Federal University of Gusau in Zamfara State on September 22, 2023. The development informed the recent decisions by The Nigeria Police Force and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSDC) to announce a plan to jointly come up with ‘Safe School Initiative’ in higher educational institutions across the country”.

Afenifere, in the statement, regretted that kidnapping has been turned into a business involving billions of Naira.

Adding: “For instance, between July 2022 and June 2023, 3,620 people were abducted in 582 kidnap-related incidents. Reports have it that ransoms demanded was in the region of about ₦5 billion, although the estimated actual ransom payments might be less than one billion naira. However, the said amount could be higher as a result of underreporting.

“From the foregoing, there is no doubt that the incidences of kidnapping, herders/farmers clashes and other terrorists’ activities predated the present Tinubu administration. It even predated Buhari administration who handed the baton over to President Tinubu. Indeed, there was a lull immediately the new President was sworn-in on May 29, 2023. But about a month after, the monster reared its catastrophic head again leading to the death of many, maiming and traumatization of several and loss of properties running into several millions of naira”.

Some are attributing the spike in banditry, terrorism and kidnapping to the drop in the welfare of the people, the country’s struggling economy, rising inflation and high unemployment rates.

Ajayi, in the statement, commended the Nigerian Army over its successes in recent times in its fight against Boko Harram insurgents as claimed by the army authority as well as the National Security Adviser to the President, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.

But the spokesman of Afenifere was quick to add that the task at hand requires the strengthening and empowerment of the bodies constitutionally charged with the responsibility of ensuring internal security i.e., the Nigerian Police.

“It is a known fact that the Army is for the maintenance of the country’s territorial integrity while internal security is the major responsibility of the Police according to the constitutional provisions. Of course, sundry other bodies have been set up to compliment the efforts of the police. The efforts of the police and allied security agencies have however not been yielding the desired results because of the inherent structural error. As is known, the Nigerian Police as well as other security agencies in the country are under centralized heads in the nation’s capital, Abuja. Meaning that these organizations are being run as though Nigeria is operating a unitary system of government. And as though the country is monolithic in culture, language, mannerism etc. And as though the country does not have expanse of lands and water territories that cannot be easily navigated by non-natives”.

This, Ajayi added “means that there is an urgent need to decentralize and empower the security agencies if the insecurity that is fast consuming the nation is to be brought under control.

“As we have been shouting for about two years now, the President is enjoined to promptly give an Executive Order allowing state and local governments in the country to set up their own police forces as is being practiced by various countries that are heterogenous and large. Machinery can then be set in motion for the National Assembly to quickly amend the relevant sections of the Constitution accordingly.
The time to do so is now, if a stop is to be put to the avoidable loss of lives, properties, declining economic activities due to fear of being kidnapped and the trauma that these acts of banditry are causing the people” Ajayi concluded.



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