From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, has said community policing is the way to go.
However, he collaboration with the mainstream security agencies is needed to achieve results as obtainable in western nations.
He stated this, yesterday, during a panel discussion on security situation across states organised by the NGF in partnership with the Center for Democracy and Development (CDD).
He said a vigilance group like Amotekun was achieving results with local intelligence in his state, Ekiti.
“We believe until and unless we begin to look at multi level policing, that is what is happening in every nation around the world, we will not meet the demands of our people for local security and global protection.”
Fayemi, who disagreed with the argument of a participant that state police would be prone to abuse, said abuses meted on some Nigerians by some security personnel was proof that both federal or state police could be prone to abuses. He said as a sitting governor he was abused by the police during the 2014 election despite his immunity.
He said rather than condemn community policing, an institutional framework should be put in place to guard against abuse. “I’m not going to sit here and make an excuse that such powers in the hands of some local actors may not be abused. Anybody could abuse. It could happen, even if you devolve security to the local level. However, what we need to be talking about is what institutional frameworks should we put in place to ensure that such powers are not abused, not to use it as an excuse not to do the right thing. Because at the end of the day, there are mechanisms in our constitution to protect citizens’ rights.”
He also said the police gets more funding from states than from the Federal Government. He stated this while responding to what state governors do with their monthly security votes, saying aside the police, other security agencies also get support from governors.
“I also get feedback from other states in my capacity as chairman of the governors’ forum. There is hardly any of these institutions that you are talking about that we don’t fund. We fund the police — we fund the police more than the federal government. Quote me. State governors fund police more than the federal government. We buy them vehicles; we pay them allowances,” he said.