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Insecurity: HURIWA backs Obasanjo’s call for state police

Obasanjo advises elder citizens on longevity

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo

Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, on Friday, supported the call by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo for state police to tackle the worsening security situation in Nigeria.

HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, stressed that the present security architecture of the country has failed, and there is no need to live in denial about it.

HURIWA cited the many terrorist attacks in Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, and the entire North-East with the most recent one by the Islamic State of West Africa Province in the Ardo Kola Local Government Area of Taraba State where the insurgents claimed it bombed a drinking spot of “a gathering of infidel Christians”. Several lives were lost, and several others were injured in the explosion.

Also, HURIWA cited the many kidnapping in the country and the recent abduction of 80-year-old founder of the Solid Rock Kingdom Church, Apostle John Okoriko, Akwa Ibom State, with the hoodlums demanding a ransom of N100m for his release.

HURIWA said with the rising spate of kidnapping, terrorism, banditry, bank robbery, ritual killings, rape cases, herdsmen attacks, amongst other vicious crimes, the creation of state police must be quick and the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) must be responsive about it.

Obasanjo had earlier said, “Our situation in Nigeria concerns everyone, particularly the case of terrorism. The case has gotten over the issue of community police. It is now state police. It is from that state police that we can now be talking about community police.”

Reacting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The general state of insecurity all over Nigeria and especially the crime of kidnapping and terrorism have become widespread because Nigeria is living a lie by claiming to practice federalism while the federating units do not legally have powers to control the security institutions.

“Although there is some leeway that may be explored in the constitution for the states to create security vigilante, these crimes of kidnappings for ritual purposes and for ransom payments need to be stamped out. Also, terrorism must be stamped out. It is long overdue.

“Former President Olusegun Obasanjo was right that state police is the way forward as the existing security apparatus of the country has failed just as President Muhammadu Buhari has woefully failed in his constitutional role of protection of lives and properties.

“There has to be a police reform. Nigeria must recalibrate and restructure urgently so the states have express powers over the security of their domains.

“The executive and the legislature must join hands together and impose stiff penalty…on convicted kidnappers and terrorists. The judiciary should also join this effort through the speedy dispensation of justice within weeks.”

“There must be stringent measures against terrorists and kidnappers to serve as a deterrent,” the group added.

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