Politics

El-Rufai calls for restructuring (state police and resource control)

Governor Nasir El-Rufai and President Muhammadu Buhari

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to implement the three specific recommendations of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Committee on True Federalism.

The governor who spoke on Friday during a live broadcast tagged ‘The Fierce Urgency of Now: Tactics and Strategies to Pull Nigeria from the Brink,’ noted that True Federalism would help address insecurity in the country.

He added that Nigeria had failed “jealously and consistently protect its prerogatives and status as a leviathan, the ultimate guarantor of security, the protector of rights and the promoter of the rule of law.”

“I would recommend the following immediate decisions and actions by the federal and state governments, with the support of our civil society and all well-meaning Nigerians. The first is to implement the three key devolution proposals that I mentioned: Give us state police now; vest all minerals in the states now; and decentralise our judiciary now – not later.

“There are certain things governors cannot do. Some of them we have alluded to by saying we don’t control security agencies. So, you are chief security officer, but you can call the CP (commissioner of police) and if the IG (Inspector General) says, ‘Don’t talk to him,’ that is it.

“In five and a half years, as governor of Kaduna State, I have had eight commissioners of police. They are just posted; they spend seven or eight months (each) on average. Do the mathematics. Eight CPs that have virtually no say in their posting, and so on. How can you have security management if you change the frontline chief of security every eight months on average?”

Governor El-Rufai however noted that only the National Assembly could make state police a reality.

“There is nothing the governors can do. And these senators and House of Representatives members were elected from states. Many of them got elected with our help and support, but when they go to Abuja, they can grow large heads and will not cut their hair for two years, and they start thinking something else. I had one like that; I got him out.

“We want states to have more responsibilities so that we can be held more accountable. The reason I said we need state police, a decentralised judiciary and the vesting of mines, minerals and oils in states now is because if we don’t do it this year, next year, everything will be politicised.”

He also noted that Nigeria don’t have enough military personnel and equipments to tackle insecurity.

“None of the military services nor other security agencies has been suitably expanded in numbers and equipment for over a decade since the insurgency in the North-East pushed things to a new law.

“This country does not have enough soldiers, uniformed police, or secret police to project state power across its vast swaths, particularly the forests. The limited number of boots on the ground are not well-equipped and are significantly lacking in the technology that can make their limited numbers matter a lot less.

“We should provide immediate and enhanced funding to acquire advanced equipment, armaments and ordinances for the armed forces, police, security agencies and paramilitary agencies by drawing down from the pool of various rainy day federation funds like the Excess Crude Account, Natural Resources Account, Stabilisation Account, and so on, so that our security services will have the material to face the criminals that menace us.”

“This also means we must stop pretending that the regulated rates of lending, interest rates, exchange rates, prices of petrol and electricity, as well as the salaries in the public sector are realistic, sustainable and will lead us to the Promised Land. These are decisions for the here and now,” he said.

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