the South Western states, saying, as enshrined in the Nigerian
constitution, the primary responsibility of government, at any level, is
the protection of lives and property of the citizen.
According to the former Vice President, it is in carrying out this
function that the state employs different layers of measures to ensure
effective and efficient policing.
In a statement on Sunday, the presidential candidate of the PDP in the
last election said that it is without doubt that in the past decade
particularly, the current policing administration in the country had
been stretched to its limits, adding that it is obvious that the reality
of the nation’s domestic security upheaval will demand that the people
recalibrate the police systems.
Mr Atiku in explaining further noted that in the First Republic before
things gravitated too much to the center, policing was done federally
with each native authority and region having some mechanisms to deal
with little upsets that were the security concerns of those times.
He added that in present-day Nigeria, there is hardly any state of the
federation that does not contend with some type of security challenges.
The elder statesman argued that because the nation’s security challenges
are diverse in forms and impacts, it is thus incumbent that centrally
controlled police architecture cannot exclusively deal with those
Atiku stressed that consequently, there is a need for the creation of
additional policing structures in the country to address the rapidly
growing challenges of insecurity and crime.
“The time is ripe to seriously confront the reality of insecurity in the
country by addressing the urgency of introducing state police, zonal
police and community policing to complement the efforts of the current
“It is obvious that current levels of insecurity in the country are
giving rise to major initiatives such as Amotekun and the issue need not
be controversial in the first place.
“The police are likely to be more effective if they constantly operate
in the same local community or local government because such closeness
might create a bond with the local people, thereby enabling community
cooperation and participation that would engender proactive outcomes in
crime prevention,” Atiku stated.
He also said that Nigeria is a vast country facing enormous security
challenges and, therefore, there is an urgent need to create more
security structures at the local levels to reduce the burden on the
Sounding a note of warning, Atiku said that the issue of security should
not be politicised and monopolised in the face of current alarming
security challenges characterised by the fear of even travelling on our
highways by the citizens who might be intercepted by kidnappers and
taken hostage for ransom.
He argued that local policing shouldn’t be mistaken for an effort to
hijack the role of the federal police or competition with the federal
According to the PDP henchman, the obvious inadequacies of the federal
police to effectively deal with the rapidly growing security challenges
make local policing not only desirable but also necessary.
“The police are more likely to be effective in areas where they are well
known and trusted by the local communities who in turn are willing to
share information about known criminals and criminal activities, thereby
foiling those crimes before they are even carried out.
“It is a given perception that when people have a role in their own
security, they are going to help to defeat the criminal in their tracks
and that the more they are involved, the more likely they would perceive
the police as their friends.
“In the envisage new order, states and local governments shouldn’t be
reduced to peripheral players in policing and security matters. When
local police structures are closest to the grassroots, emergency
response will be more effective than the current unwieldy chain of
command that renders local government chairmen ineffective when their
people are under attacks,” Atiku stated.
He was of the opinion that it is refusing to adopt new ways of doing
things that poses a threat to the unity of the country.
Atiku noted that he supports Community, State, and Zonal Police to
complement Federal Police to deal with insecurity in the country,
stressing that it has never been this bad to the extent of threatening
the unity of the country.