A Foundation for Peace Professionals specialized in Peacebuilding, Peace Pro, has urged the Nigerian government to promptly implement a decentralization plan for the country’s police force. This action is seen as crucial in countering the escalating levels of violence that have surfaced due to the current centralized policing system. According to Peace Pro, the existing centralized policing system holds no solutions for curbing the extensive levels of organized violence present in rural areas. Peace Pro further argued that if the federal government fails to decentralize security, the nation will inevitably face catastrophic consequences.
The group believes that if the country fails to take this crucial step, it might inevitably succumb to non-state actors, and the situation will spiral out of control. According to Ambassador Abdulrazaq Hamzat, the executive director of Peace Pro, the current tragedy in Plateau State, which has resulted in a devastating loss of more than 200 lives, highlights the urgent need for decentralizing policing. Hamzat voiced dissatisfaction with the concerning incident in Plateau State where local criminals, operating collectively, laid siege on innocent people, inflicting immense suffering upon them in an utterly degrading manner.
Intermittent federal security does not endanger non-state actors.
Hamzat expressed deep concern over the federal government’s passive stance towards addressing security challenges in rural regions of the nation. He, however, said the tragedy could have been prevented if the federal government had taken a proactive approach towards security in the rural region. According to Hamzat, it is no secret that numerous ungoverned areas exist within Nigeria, where powerful non-state actors thrive with ample resources. These areas have transformed into breeding grounds where for various malevolent groups, encompassing terrorists, mercenaries, and bandits.
He explained that the intermittent federal security clearance, operations, and patrol have no power to endanger the systematic arrangement, unrestricted provision, and accessibility of top-notch firearms, along with the sustainable funding, possessed by these non-state actors. Meanwhile, it is a widely known fact among the federal government and various stakeholders in the nation. Hamzat argued that the sole resolution to tackle this issue is through the decentralization of policing. Regrettably, both the federal government and all parties with vested interests exhibit an unwillingness to implement this widely accepted solution required to address the security challenges in the country.
National Assembly urged to facilitates the decentralization.
Peace Pro has thus urged the federal government to take essential action and distribute the responsibility of policing across various entities, rather than continuously resorting to threats and offering condolences. The National Assembly is urged to take charge of facilitating the decentralization of policing as it is believed that only a security structure that is decentralized could effectively combat insecurity in Nigeria. Additionally, heartfelt condolences are offered to the Plateau State Government and all those impacted by the recent tragic events.
Over the years, numerous institutions, including the senate and influential figures, have advocated for the decentralization of law enforcement. This crucial measure is underscored by its potential to propel the nation forward in its fight against the relentless battle of incessant homicides, criminal activities, and other various acts of violence. Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has stressed the importance of decentralizing the Nigerian police and implementing significant reforms in the criminal justice system. These measures, according to Agbakoba, are imperative for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the judicial system under the new Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Lateef Fagbemi (SAN).
Nigeria has had a centralized police force since independence.
According to Agbakoba, there is a pressing need for the implementation of reforms within Nigerian judicial system. He further expressed his viewpoint on specific aspects that Fagbemi ought to prioritize in order to enhance the nation’s conditions. He stated that a crucial reform would involve a full decentralization of the Police Force, stretching across the local, state, and Federal levels. Nigeria history has witnessed a centralized police force ever since gaining independence. Consequently, the country has experienced subpar security measures, engendered by terrorist operations, kidnappings among other vices.