Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, has attributed the recent trend of Boko Haram executing its victims to plans to fuel religious crisis in most states.
Speaking during the first quarterly meeting of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the PGF Governance Programme Steering Committee in Abuja, Lalong also revealed that plans are underway by the Progressive Governors to harmonise the issue of community policing.
“That is to tell you that we concentrate so much on that and we do assessment at every period to know if there are states that are living up to expectation.
“On general term, what we did after presentation from security agencies is, all of us appear to be talking about community policing. That one we all agreed on, so we don’t want situation where you start doing something and the federal government will say you are doing outside the law just like what they said about Amotekun.
“It is now that they are going to dialogue. Even if they are doing that, it has to be within the law. So, what is within the law as far as governors are concerned is the issue of community policing. We all agreed on that.
“Like my co-chairman said, when you go to implementation, you use different kinds of methods. I made a briefing in Lafia and I told them I have been using community policing for a very long time. In Jos I have about three organizations.
“Three security outfits. I have the Headquarters of a Division; I have Operation Safe Haven established by the federal government for only few states at that time, and I have what is called Operation Rainbow.
“For us, Operation Rainbow is like community policing because while Operation Safe Haven and Police are answerable to the federal government, Operation Rainbow is answerable to the governor and it is a combination of different security organizations.
“So, what they do is intelligence gathering and we find that very effective because if you do not understand the intelligence, you will not understand how to even nip the security situation in the bud.
“So, because of this intelligence, before anything happens, we know because we have an early warning system. The last one was the issue where Boko Haram killed someone. I take it as part of what I may call propaganda because when they are getting to that level, they can use any means to propagate and incite people to go into killings.
“We heard what happened in Adamawa where they killed a pastor and then the one in Plateau state when a student is killed. I have been telling my people, trying to caution them because the intention is done for people to start fighting on religious grounds. By the time you fall into it, they will come back again.
“When you are fighting, they will come back and start mingling with the people. So, it is very unfortunate that they have started killing students and religious leaders. We have to keep appealing to the people. We have made strong appeal to the security agencies to go back to those places because we do not expect Boko Haram to be more superior than our security agencies,” he said.
Commenting on Amotekun and security situation in the country, he said: “Ours is to design policies for implementation for good governance in APC states. Here we are not talking about Amotekun, we are talking about general insecurity and so once we laid the foundation for the APC states and it is approved then we will begin to talk about implementation, maybe at the level of approval people will bring up Amotekun, people will bring different issues.
“I always try not to talk about what the south is talking, for me I am not from that Zone, I am Chairman of Northern Governors Forum who have different opinions from what is obtained there.
“What we are laying down now in the framework is general insecurity because we are not unmindful of the situation in the country that is for every year we make a framework and tell them these are things that are current and these are things that APC governors should adopt in terms of preparing their budget and also in governance in their States,” he said.