The Presidency, yesterday, threw its weight behind state and community policing to address the prevailing wave of insecurity across the country.
Declaring open a two-day Summit on National Security organised by the Senate in Abuja, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said every Nigerian deserves the protection of his life and property, admitting that there were instances where security agencies failed to properly and urgently respond to security issues.
The vice president, who noted that the police as currently structured, was too defective to address the growing insecurity in the country, stressed the need for the number of police personnel to be increased drastically, just as he cautioned stakeholders in the country not to allow the current insecurity challenges assume religious dimension.
Also speaking at the summit, which was shunned by the 36 state governors, Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, said what was required at the moment to nip in the bud cases of killings, kidnappings, mayhem and general lawlessness was a leadership with the will to douse the flickering flames on insecurity and reduce the tension in the land.
Why we need state, commujity police -- Osinbajo
Said Osinbajo, who disclosed that 15 states have agreed to allocate 5000 hectraes of land for cattle ranching and livestock production: "It will be recalled that the Senate had, on November 30, 2017, inaugurated the Ad-Hoc Committee on Review of Security Infrastructure in the Country.
"This came about, because we were increasingly concerned at the spate of crises and insecurity in many parts of the country, and knew that we needed to do something about it. The committee had a broad mandate; to look into the problem and prepare a report outlining a different approach for dealing with the issue.
"The first is that the nature of our security challenges are complex and nuanced. Securing Nigeria's over 923,768 square kilometres and its 180 million people, requires far more men and materials than we have at the moment. It also requires a continual re-engineering of our security architecture and strategies.
"This has to be a dynamic process. For a country our size to meet the one policeman to 400 persons UN prescribed ratio, would require nearly tripling our current police force, far more funding of the police, military and security agencies is required.
"Secondly, we cannot realistically police a country the size of Nigeria centrally from Abuja. State Police and other community policing methods are clearly the way to go."
We need leadership with political will to douse tension-- Saraki
Saraki, who noted that Nigeria needed a leadership with the political will to combat insecirity, said the executive cannot solve the problems alone, adding that all hands must be on deck to address the problems because the killings in the land are intolerable cycle of hell that must be broken and cannot be the new normal.
Saraki said: "What our country needs at this time is leadership that will work to douse the flames and reduce tension in the land. It is essential that we lower the barriers in our actions and rhetoric, and refrain from playing politics with a crisis situation in which Nigerian lives are being lost, tragically and needlessly, on a regular basis."
Support for state Police, a mirage -- Mohammed
Reacting to the presidency's backing for state and community policing, Second Republic lawmaker, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, said the presidency's support for state police is a mirage.
"For all I care, All Progressives Congress, APC, has now turned everything into politics. They are only trying to cajole Nigerians with the support for state police when they have actually refused to show leadership," he said.
It's a welcome devt, but... -- Okurounmu
Senator Femi Okurounmu described the move as a welcome development but insisted that restructuring should be looked into holistically.
It should be referred to National Assembly-- Opara
Former Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Austin Opara, said if the APC was serious about restructuring, they should refer the issue to the National Assembly.
It's a step in the right direction -- Osuntokun
A leading member of the Coalition for Nigeria Movement, CNM, Mr Akin Osuntokun, said it is a step in the right direction, if the government is serious.