- Charges FG to listen to her citizens more on insecurity, economy
- As veteran journalist, Ikem Okuhu presents book on rebranding, national cohesion
Nigeria’s insecurity problems will continue unabated until the security architecture is decentralised and states are allowed to own their own their police outfits, former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, said on Wednesday.
The lawmaker who represents Enugu West Senatorial District, regretted that Nigeria is the only federal state still practicing a centralised policing architecture in the whole world where even centralised country have a decentralised policing.
He said this at the 2020 edition of the Brandish Meeting of Minds Colloquium and Book presentation in Abuja, with the theme “Beyond Rebranding: Engineering a Citizen led proposition for Nigeria’s National Cohesion and Global positioning”, by the veteran journalist, Mr. Ikem Okuhu.
He said, “As long as we are centralising our police in a federal system of government, we will continue to have insecurity. Today, the number of policemen we have in Nigeria is far less than what we need and we can never have enough unless we allow the states to have their own police and determine how they train them and counter their ills in the circumstance around their states”, he said.
Ekweremadu also regrets that calls and clamour made to the federal government to decentralised police architecture, and other recommendations by Nigerians on how to tackle insecurity have all fell on deaf ears.
“Unless we listen to the views of people on decentralising our police, we will continue to have this problem
“Today, Nigeria is in the full grips of widespread insecurity- insurgency, banditry, abductions, armed robbery, and all manner of violent crimes. Nigerians have been offering solutions towards taming the rising waves of criminality.
“This includes calls for decentralised policing, which I am also a proponent and have a Bill to that effect that is currently before the Senate. Unfortunately, it appears the government is bent on doing the same thing over and over, but ironically hoping to get a different result.
The lawmaker also noted that there are several other areas, where successive governments have either not listened to the masses or shown interest in building consensus.
“Many Nigerians, including yours sincerely, have been shouting it on the rooftops long before the current economic downturn occasioned by drastic and protracted decline in oil revenues, that the days of high oil revenues were numbered.
“The West and other developed nations are setting targets to move away from oil. Yet we are not close to activating other abundant sources of income because our federalism is wired for wealth sharing rather than wealth creation.
“Even in the 7th National Assembly when we listened to the yearnings of Nigerians to amend the constitution to devolve aviation, power, railway, etc. from the Exclusive List to the Concurrent List, it was never assented by the Presidency.
“Now that the chicken has come home to roost, will the Federal Government listen to the voices of reason and devolve powers or will it continue with the micro management (some will say mismanagement) of the nation’s resources?
“The bad news is not just that the nation is paying dearly for such intransigence, but also that the country will sadly continue to pay heavier tolls for many years to come”, the senator warned.
Ikem Okuhu, author of the book, PITCH: Debunking Marketing’s Strongest Myth, said the journey in writing the book started on the 26th day of December 2019.
The author said the idea behind the book was not to write a conventional Brands and Marketing book but to produce a work that captures the real day-to-day experiences of Nigerians as they buy and sell and relate with one another.
Speaking on the theme of the colloquium, Okuhu said there is a need for Nigeria to open spaces for wider discussions on the country’s nationhood, particularly as it relates to citizen involvement in national political, social and economic decision making processes.
“Being honest about the Circumstances we find ourselves in Nigeria is important. The country is bursting in the seams by a potentially challenging youth bulge and there is every need for a sustained active engagement with this otherwise productive segment with the end being to build deliberate policy platforms and pipelines to harvest their energy towards profitable national good.
“There is a legion other challenge that I am convinced we can overcome with planned conversations designed to decipher, diagnose, dismantle and hea1.And there seems to be little time”, he said.