President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed that his administration would no longer tolerate acts of killings and kidnapping for ransom by armed gangs in the nation. Buhari further expressed worries that the recent upsurge of insecurity in different parts of the nation has affected the nation’s development, adding that his administration would not fail to bring the perpetrators to justice. The President stated this yesterday in Port Harcourt while declaring open the 9th General Assembly of National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, NCTRN, with the theme: ‘Community Policing as a Catalyst to Crime Prevention – The Role of Traditional Rulers.’ Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, said: “I am very worried and saddened about the persistent killings and kidnappings happening in our country, especially the wastage of innocent lives in different parts of the country by whatever means it is done, particularly in Benue State. I have therefore directed that no effort should be spared in identifying and bringing to justice all those that are carrying out the acts. I have therefore directed the Chief of Army Staff to relocate to the North East to ensure that the activities of Boko Haram are stopped.” The President further said: “Likewise, I have directed the Inspector General of Police to relocate to Benue State to ensure that the killings are not only contained and but that those involved are brought to justice. By whatever name they are called, these acts are criminal violence in themselves even, and they are deliberate efforts to sustain fear on the citizen of our dear nation and to progressively overwhelm the rest of the country by murdering innocent citizens and destroying property of people. “This actions amount to declaration of war on our peaceful co-existence and a deliberate attempt to undermine the authority of the Nigerian State and threaten her sovereignty and territorial integrity. “As a responsible government, we will never tolerate or condone all trouble makers, criminals and killers; they should be ready to face the consequences of their acts. While the Federal Government is doing everything possible to tackle the root cause of violence and crime in Nigeria, we expect citizens to respect and obey the laws governing our society.” Centralised policing has failed, says Wike. He called on the FG to decentralize policing, adding that the security of the nation would be achieved if the governors are given charge to control the security of their states.
Wike noted that the centralization of police has made security of the nation not to be achievable, revealing that his administration has sent a bill to the State Assembly for the establishment of Neighbourhood Security Corps, which would stand as beginning of the process in the state. He said: “The Benue killings have exposed the weakness of our system centralization of policing, because the states governors do not have the right to take charge of the security. Centralized policing has failed in managing the Nigerians security situation. Central policing is out of touch, we need to effect the necessary steps to bring state policing to reality. Already we have forwarded a bill to establish a neighbourhood security corps to compliment the policing of the state.”
Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, in his keynoted address to the gathering, noted that the issues of community policing are relevant to the security challenges and in line with President Buhari’s resolve to provide adequate security to the nation. Idris noted that effected policing of the nation cannot be achieved easily without the assistance of the traditional rulers, adding that they (traditional rulers) command the respect of their subjects.
He called for a synergy between the traditional rulers and the security agencies, adding that the rulers know their citizens know their subjects and can help in provision of useful information that would help the police achieve its mandate. The IGP further disclosed that he has been adopting decentralized as one of his strategies, adding that police are increasing people’s participation through town hall meeting and seminars. He warned royal fathers to stop conferring chieftaincy titles on people with questionable characters, even as he urged well-meaning Nigerians to support the police force in the area of logistics. Meantime, the Chairman of NCTRN, Alh. Muhammad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, in his Opening remarks charged traditional rulers to be role models in all their dealings. Abubakar, who thanked Wike for hospitality, noted that any government that relegates traditional rulers to the background would suffer setback in its attempt to take governance to the grassroots. He noted that the formation was a big step in restoring peace in the nation.