As part of measures to check the high rate of insecurity in Nigeria, former Nigerian President , Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has recommended the introduction of State Police system.
Obasanjo made the call when he received the leadership of the Association of Ex-Local Government Chairmen in Nigeria in Abeokuta, Ogun State on Thursday.
The former president suggested that the security threat in Nigeria requires such an approach and argued that it remains a better option than community policing.
“Our situation in Nigeria concern everyone, particularly the case of terrorism – the case has gotten over the issue of community police,” Obasanjo said. “It is now state police. It is from that state police that we can now be talking about community police.”
Obasanjo also spoke on the need to strengthen the traditional system and the local government administration to function as the closest institution to the people, providing for their immediate needs.
He recalled the Murtala/Obasanjo administration initiated the third tier of government to work truly like a local government, having its own executive, judiciary and legislature.
Obasanjo said the local governments “were working, and they were very visible, building and managing roads, looking into education, health, local administration, agriculture, but they were all gone.”
The former president said the former chairmen’s experience in local government administration was enough to aspire for higher posts, stressing that some of them have the competence, ability and integrity to get to those posts.
Obasanjo commended the initiative behind the formation of the body, adding that the development clearly showed that some local chairmen in the country were better than even the top elected leaders.
The pioneer national chairman of the association, Albert Ashipa; the Ogun State chapter chairman, Shoyemi Coker; the BOT chairperson, Chinwe Monu-Olarewaju; and the traditional ruler of Odogbolu, Toye Mojeed Alatise, were among those present.
Ashipa had earlier told Chief Obasanjo why they came together in all the 774 local governments in the country. He said they are convinced they can also contribute to the economy and political developments of the country.
“And realising your position as father of local government in Nigeria, we need you to actualize our goals, hence this all-important visit. And to come and say happy 85th birthday celebration,” Ashipa said.