I am watching with keen interest the controversy over the security arrangement the governors of South-West have put in place to protect their people who elected them into office.
The primary responsibility of a government is the provision of security of lives and property. The governors in the South-West states were elected to do just that.
The Attorney- General, Abubakar Malami has described the establishment of their joint security outfit illegal. I do hope he was truly speaking for the Federal Government as there is no hint or evidence that the subject was discussed in cabinet you would expect would be done on such an important subject which clearly challenges the very existence of the governments in the different states of the South-West, given what governments exist to do—secure the safety of their electors, for their wellbeing, progress, and happiness. The constitution bad as it is, says the governors are the chief security officers of their states. How can they be chief security officers without the wherewithal? It is a question of common sense.
The whole world can see they have no choice at this stage than to take control of the apparatus for the security of their people and their land. The Federal Police cannot cope in terms of executive capacity and numerical strength some put at about 250,000 to police nearly 200million Nigerians. We have all seen consequences of the inadequacy. The deficiency is such that marauders, kidnappers, and killers have been having a field day, wading through forests and occupying roads and highways.
Chief Olu Falae, a very prominent national leader and Yoruba leader was kidnapped and humiliated for three days, kept in the forest in the rain. University lecturers have been kidnapped; the son of the former Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, was kidnapped. What was worse and the most provocative was that the evil men murdered the daughter of Chief Reuben Fasoranti, the leader of the Yoruba who went to look after her 94-year old man. Up till today, to my knowledge, no arrests have been made. It is so scandalous. It would have been the height of irresponsibility for the governors to fold their arms and not respond appropriately.
The first local government police in this country were established by the Egba Union Government in 1903 but effective in 1904, followed by Ibadan in 1905 and Oyo in 1906. What is not legal about a people protecting themselves, their lives, in the face of threats to their very being, their existence? What is illegal in self-defence? It may not be long when we will be told that keeping guard dogs and erecting burglary proofs are illegal because they are not in the constitution! It needs to be pointed out that it is the country that exists for the citizens, to look after them and the citizens look after their land in reciprocity. The citizens in the South-West states look unto their governors to look after their security. The appropriate step is what the six governors in the South-West have taken. It is the most sensible thing expected of them. Their people elected them directly to safeguard their lives and property. I salute them, and I salute Prof. Itse Sagay for his candour and courage for which he was renowned at the University of Benin and in his occasional intervention years after.
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