State Police Is Imperative.
By Sola Ebiseni
When the Nigerian Police was degraded and the invited military couldn’t find their bearings, you called in aid, local boys referred to as “Civilian JTF”, using bare hands, cudgels and at best dane guns but without whom, the rampaging Boko Haram could not have been tamed.
Imagine that these patriotic Kanuri boys and girls have been constituted in a well trained and equipped Police Force of Borno State, this insurgency, started as riots by Kanuri youths, would have been nipped by their compatriots, who equally know the terrain, language and ways of life of the insurgents.
Here in my locality, where rivers and the great Atlantic are our natural habitat, I often shudder, seeing men and ladies, in the name of the Nigerian Police and even the navy, who are natives of the Savannah and the brink of the Sahara, amuse themselves with the task of taming the “bad boys” in the creeks of the Niger Delta.
We often needlessly lose life and property when security men are deterred by language and strange territory, or because of the mindset that they have nothing to lose in a crisis between people of the same nativity.
We deceive and commit ourselves to folly, if we will not first defend our compound against our own errant children, before calling our neighbour and only if we’re overwhelmed.
Now, several school girls are abducted in Yobe, for failure of security intelligence and sheer shortage of police manpower, leaving schools, in the dens of insurgency, to be manned by helpless stick wielding maiguards.
Why do some knowledgeable people continue to amuse the world that we are so negatively different that we are the only federation where the so called governments of the federating units have no police to enforce their laws and that this vast territory of diverse tribes and tongues may be policed by an Almighty central command.
This is the essence and logic of state or local policing, especially in a multinational country like Nigeria. Happily, the presidency, governors, National Assembly, ethnic nationalities, overwhelming majority of Nigerians, have now come to terms with this indispensable reality.
The excuse of possible abuse by state governments pales into insignificance compared with the gains in terms of security of life and property.