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State police solution to banditry, says PGF DG

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The Director-General, Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Dr. Salihu Lukman, has proposed state police as the only panacea to kidnappings and other forms of banditry in the country.

Lukman, in a statement entitled ‘Poverty and Existential Problems of Nigeria’, argued that the goal would be achieved through the restructuring of the country.

The PGF boss reiterated his call for the implementation of the Governor Nasir el-Rufai-led APC committee’s report on true federalism, which proffered solutions to the socio-economic challenges in the country.

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Expressing concern over the appalling security situation in the country, he said it was incumbent on the citizenry to prevail on those entrusted with leadership positions to combine military strategy with successful implementation of ambitious national initiative to lift Nigerians out of poverty.

He noted: “With all the sad reality of our existential threats in the country, which is destroying our educational sector, we are debating whether we should have state police or not? Anybody debating whether or not to have state police is simply part of the problem. How many private security men are guarding our homes?

“With all that is happening to our schools, isn’t it a case that require the establishment of armed police station in each school to guarantee the safety of our children? Can the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) as constituted provide this today? Isn’t this a challenge requiring emergency response? How can the lives of school children be so threatened, and we are busy debating politics?”

Lukman urged the leaders in APC to wake up and stop all the hesitation around consideration of the APC True Federalism Report.

He queried: “Why was the committee set up in the first place, if our leaders knew that they were not committed to resolving problems that question what we have today?

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“Isn’t it a common knowledge that no problem can be solved by replicating exactly what may have created the problem?”

The PGF boss maintained that the resolve by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty should come with both sectoral yearly targets as well as negotiated commitment by state governments and other non-governmental and private sector players to work towards the goal.

“So long as we have Nigerians living in conditions of extreme poverty, crime rates, including banditry and kidnapping of innocent school children will remain high. Reducing this challenge to issues of enforcement of law and order alone will be insufficient.

“The factory that produces bandits is the very condition that hold more than 100 million Nigerians below the poverty line,” he added.

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Salihu LukmanState Police
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