By Olowogboyega Oyebade
Do you know that we need to appreciate the Governor of our dear State, Mr Adegboyega Oyetolafor being pro-active to scale up the security architecture in the State? Do you know that the security threats reported in the recent past is de-escalating? Do you know that Mr Governor has put some measures into traction to restore Osun back in the natrix of the safest State in Nigeria? Are you aware of the on-going debates on the desirability or otherwise of having State Police in Nigeria as a permanent measure to shoot down the drone of crime now pervasive in all the States in Nigeria? Are you aware that establishing State Police may be the needed surface-to-air missile to shoot down the drone of crime in all our communities? You care to know how? Come along, please.
Are you aware that there is tension in the Gulf Region? Do you know that on Thursday, 20th June, 2019, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shot down a U.S. RQ-4 Global Hawk, a surveillance drone, near the Strait of Hormuz? Do you know that this narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf accommodates at least 20% of all global oi fleet? Do you know that these heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington are the by-products of collapsing nuclear deal of Iran in 2015? Do you know that this latest campaign was the first time the Islamic Republic directly attacked the American military and the last word has not been heard? Do you know that this remotely piloted aircraft could fly higher than 15 km in altitude and could stay in the air for over 24 hours at a time and shooting it down was called “an unprovoked attack” in international airspace? Do you know that President Trump tweeted that “Iran made a very big mistake!”? Are you aware that the heightened tension is gripping the region, tension rooted in Trump’s withdrawing the U.S. a year ago from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal and imposing crippling new sanctions on Tehran? Do you know that recently, Iran quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium to be on pace to break one of the deal’s terms by 27th June, 2019 and vowed to raise enrichment closer to weapons-grade levels on 7thJuly, 2019, if Europe does not offer it a new deal? Just as some bandits threatened the peace of our State recently, do you know that some dogs of war are playing chess with the economic zone located in the corridor around the Gulf Region? Do you know that Iran had just marked 40 yearanniversary of its revolution and that any crisis in the area will OPEC-denominated economies including Nigeria?
Do you know that the United States and the oil-producing nations are growing goose-pimples over the fate of international shipping through the strategic waterway since tankers were damaged in May and June in what Washington blamed on limpet mines from Iran, although Tehran denied involvement? Are you aware that the United States alleged that RQ-4 Global Hawk was at least 34 kilometers from Iranian territory when it was shot down by the surface-to-air missile? Do you know that the paramilitary Guard, which shot down the drone is answerable only to Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a development that may put religious tendency into the war-game thereby putting the entire region in an open-grave? Do you know that Russian President Vladimir Putin, a fellow ‘dog of war‘, called for caution, warning that any war between Iran and the U.S. would be a “catastrophe for the region as a minimum”? Do you know that President Trump initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets like radar and missile batteries? Do you know that military and diplomatic officials were expecting a strike? Are you aware that planes were in the air and ships were in position, but no missiles had been fired when word came to the war-machines to stand down to spare the lives of at least 150 people that could have died in the attack?
Do you know that the abrupt reversal put a halt to what could have been the president’s third military action against targets in the Middle East as Mr. Trump had struck twice at targets in Syria, in 2017 and 2018? The statement of the Revolutionary Guard commander Gen. Hossein Salami cuts in: “We do not have any intention for war with any country, but we are fully ready for war. Borders are our red line. Any enemy that violates the borders will be annihilated.”
Do you know that as security tension is mounting in the Gulf, it is equally mounting in some States in Nigeria? Do you know that as U.S. Navy RQ-4A Global Hawk drone flew provocatively in the airspace of Iran for ominous strategic surveillance, criminals of variegated colours are flying themselves in the airspace of some of our States, with lethal arsenals like kidnapping, robbery, banditry, ritual killing and rape? Do you know that criminals in Nigeria, like the American drone, have crossed the red lines? Do you know that we must collectively act like the revolutionary guard of Iran to launch the surface-to-air missiles that will shoot down the metaphor of this drone? Do you know that the idea of the State Police is our surface-to-air missile to shoot down this rampaging drone of crime flying over our airspace? You care to know why? Come along, please.
Are you aware that historically, policing did not start as a paid profession but passed through three phases, transiting from voluntary community watch to the appointment of the justice of the peace and now to professional police establishment to maintain law and order as the major representatives of the legal system in their transactions with citizens? Do you know that they are also the major emergency arm of the community in times of personal and public crises, a role that confers on them monopolyon the legitimate use of force? Are you aware that the old colonial policies subjugated the existing traditional informal law enforcement order and forcefully imposed western idea of policing? Do you know that at that period, the primary purpose of the police was to advance the economic and political agenda of the colonialist by engaging in the brutal subjugation of communities and the suppression of resistance to colonial rule? Do you know that this initial push-back of violence and repression by the police marked an essential dislocation in the relationship between the police and local communities, which has characterized law enforcement practices in Nigeria ever since?
Do you know that the way police is perceived in the thinking radar of the people vary? Do you know that some observers see the police as an organization with a community of practice tending towards coercion, regimentation aimed at suppressing behaviours, actions, and orientations that threaten the prevailing social order? Do you know that the police is perceived in some quarters as agents of conflict resolution emanating from inequalities in society leading to trade disputes, demonstrations, riots and violations of rights? Do you know that in the interviews held with people of diverse orientations, there was no one that expressed that police establishments should be annulled?
Do you know that the British colonialists established local, decentralized police forces in the Lagos colony in 1861 and later in the northern and southern protectorates?. The composition of these police forces varied according to location Do you know that in the Lagos colony a deliberate strategy utilized officers from the linguistically and culturally distinct ethnic group from the north of the country, possibly to alienate the police from the local community they were employed to control to make them a better instrument to regiment? Do you know that by contrast, in the northern Nigeria protectorate where system of indirect rule depended on the emirs, the emir’s existing police system was only strengthened? Do you know that it was in 1930, thatthe northern and southern police forces merged into the first national police force; called the Nigeria Police Force headed by an Inspector General of Police?
Do you know that as soon as the Constitution recognized the regions, the police introducedregional commands to reflect the principle of federalism in Nigeria, thus devolving responsibility for maintaining law and order shared by federal and regional governments? Do you know that when Nigeria became an independent country in 1960 through Robertson Constitution of 1960 from the British, the same basic structures were retained with local police and the Federal Police co-existing? Do you know that the popular Republican Constitution (1963) provided for local police force and the Nigeria Police Force? Do you know that it was the military regime that terminated democracy on 15th January 1966 to usurp power arbitrarily that dissolved the local police forces that were keeping all regions and communities safe and foisted on Nigeria a new Federally –controlled police? Do you know that since then, Nigeria earned for itself the only Federation in the world with a centralized police force? Can you now see from the trajectory, that Nigeria had a deregulated police system as part of its democratic credentials contained in its 1960 and 1963 Constitutions before it was aborted treasonably, by the military on 15th January, 1966? Do you know that when the military was partially stepping down from power to hand-over power to one of their own, in 1999, they left a Constitution that still retains a centralized police force? Do you know that this is not a community of practice in other federations in the world? You care to know more? Come along, please. Section 214 (1) of the 1999 constitution interludes: “There shall be a Police Force for Nigeria, which shall be known as the Nigeria Police Force, and subject to the provisions of this section no other police force shall be established for the federation or any part thereof.”
Do you know that policing in Nigeria is not limited to domestic affairs as members of the Nigeria Police had participated in international peacekeeping operations? Do you know that Nigeria Police was ranked first in the UN Peace-Keeping Female Contributing Countries at a time? Do you know that if you watch the debates very well, those who are not in favour of the local police were more in the columns of old military brigades that brought Nigeria to this tipping edge or their beneficiaries and apologists? By what authority were they speaking for the rest of the country, standing logic upside-down? They argued that the old local and regional police were riddled with corruptive tendencies a, and therefore should not be brought back. What do we have now? Saints? They reminded us of the excessive use of force by the local police against citizens in the first republic as a damnation of the system. What do we have now? What can we make of the damning report of the Presidential Committee on Human Rights that recently submitted its report? What do we call cases of extra-judicial murders in that report or the reported confiscation of landed property of the defendants to the investigating officers?
Do you know that we have only 371,800 police officers to man the internal security of 201 million Nigerians with a plan to increase the force to 650,000? Do you know that the present size of the force is one policeman to 540 Nigerians? Do you know that this ratio is inclusive of those doing special duties and those on international assignments? Can you now see that we need to re-enact State Police? Do you know that those opposing it are of the erroneous belief that local political leaders understand that controlling the police is a means of maintaining their own political power and of allowing criminal friends and political allies to violate the law with impunity? Is the present arrangement insulated against this insider-abuse? No! Do you know that the opposition to the State Police are peddling that State police will be extensions of the political parties in control of the States or become agency for unresolved murder cases?
Do you know that they are taking the arguments from the ridiculous to the obscene as they argued that elected Governors, many of whom are gentlemen, are not matured enough to be given the power to control police activities in their respective States, if they were allowed to have State Police? What happens to their constitutional role to provide security and welfare to the citizens? Do you know that researches have shown that the Nigeria Police Force ispsychologically and structurally too distant from the people they are meant to protect; and do not share or get bound by the values, interests and sentiments of the people? Do you know that this negative perception is enough threat? Do you know that the three core areas of professional police model, namely, preventive patrol, quick response time, and follow up investigation would be better enhanced in a familiar environment under a local/ State police dispensation? Do you know that the current adoption of community policing is an admission that centralized model is having stress and does not always operate as efficiently as it should? Do you know that an unsafe community cannot be politically and economically viable? Do you know that new development in criminal investigation is now in vogue? Are you aware that two of the most significant advances in criminal investigation have been the development of finger-printing and DNA profiling? Are you aware that the equipment for these technologies are billion Naira denominated and that the Federal Government cannot bear the cost alone and that States need to participate financially?
Do you know that some of the people opposing State Police in the public debates are serving officers who are currently benefitting from the system or old soldiers who supported the annulment of the State Police after the military take-over of of 15th January, 1966. The statement credited to Brig.Gen. LadanYusuf (rtd.) (Special Adviser on Security to Bauchi State Governor) interludes:
“My opinion on creation of state police is, considering the fact that we tribalise everything in this country; we regionalise everything, I will rather say it is not yet time for us to have it (state police). We are not ripe ……For now, my view is no; we don’t need state police. Also, in recent times, religion has crept into play and further dividing us as a people. Based on these factors, I will say we are not ready to have state police.The solution to the security challenges the country faces remains the federal police structure. We should continue with the present police system until we are mature enough to have state police as it is the case in countries like the United States of America. People have raised issues that the federal police brutalise the citizens, but I can tell you that the situation will be worse in a state police system. When a stranger passes through your territory in state police system, the tendency of abusing police power will be high because of the factors I mentioned earlier.”
Do you know that in panel-beating the existing centralized system certain reforms were put in place? Are you aware that the defunct National Assembly passed the Police Reform Act to make it people-centred by making certain draconian aspects of police operations more friendly? Do you know that the current Police Act has been in existence since 1943? Do you know that the defunct National Assembly passed into law the Police Trust Fund Act to address the adverse plight of the Force in terms of logistics and funds? Do you know that the Senate Committee on Police Affairs also held a public hearing on the Police Academy that has been in existence without the relevant laws? Do you know that Nigeria is battling its worst level of insecurity since the civil war which ended in 1970? Do you know that there is the urgency to establish a state police that will be capable of tackling the current challenge of gross insecurity in Nigeria? Do you know that the establishment will improve the issue of the reorientation of the force, insufficient budgetary allocation and the practice of true federalism, the creation of employment opportunities on the long run? Do you know that the defunct Nigerian Senate in their plenary, said that state policing and proper funding of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) were the solutions to the banditry in some North-Western states of Nigeria? Are you aware that at the plenary, Senator Marafa reported that since 2011, as a result of the unabating activities of the criminals in Zamfara State, estimated that 11,000 males have been killed, leaving behind an average of 22,000 widows and by extension, 44,000 orphans? The voice of Senate Olusola Adeyeye, cuts in:
“ The problem of the country is the constitution itself, which provides for an over- centralised federation or better put, unitary system as against a federal system of government. As long as the problematic constitution is not amended by way of removing policing from the exclusive list to the concurrent list to pave the way for state police, criminality at local levels will continue unabated.”
Do you know that in the last National Conference, one of the major issues discussed was on security; stressing the need for devolution of the highly centralized police power to reposition the institution to adequately maintain law and order and secure the lives and property of people? Do you know that one of the inability of the police to efficiently perform its constitutional duties, among others factors, is now blamed on the over-centralization of the force in Nigeria, a situation that brought about the increasing demand for the decentralization of the force, not through any form of reform, but through the establishment of state police? Do you know that comparatively, the United Kingdom faces more risks and threats, including terrorism, nuclear weapons threats, trans-national organised crime, global instability, fragile states, civil emergencies and state-led threats than Nigeria?
Do you know that in Britain where we got independence, law enforcement is organised separately in each of the legal systems of the United Kingdom, namely: England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland? Are you aware that most law enforcement is carried out by police officers serving in regional police services within one of those jurisdictions? Do you know that these regional services are complemented by UK-wide agencies, such as the National Crime Agency and the national specialist units of certain territorial police forces, such as the Specialist Operations Directorate of the Metropolitan Police?
Do you know that there are 45 territorial police areas in the UK? Do you know that a warrant issued in one legal jurisdiction may be executed in either of the other two jurisdictions by a constable from either the jurisdiction where it was issued, or the jurisdiction where it is executed? Do you know that this power allows constables of one jurisdiction to travel to another jurisdiction and arrest a person they suspect of committing an offence in their home jurisdiction? Do you know that If a constable suspects that a person has committed or attempted to commit an offence in his legal jurisdiction, and that person is now in another jurisdiction, he may arrest him in that other jurisdiction? Do you know that Police forces often support each other with large-scale operations, such as those that require specialist skills or expertise and those that require policing levels that the host-forces cannot provide? Do you know that this is called mutual aid as constables loaned from one force to another have the powers and privileges of a constable of the host force?
Do you know that there are many constables who are not members of territorial police forces, but are members of the three forces referred to as special police forces: the British Transport Police, Ministry of Defence Police and Civil Nuclear Constabulary? Do you know that such officers have the “powers and privileges of a constable” in matters relating to their work? Do you know that under Article 18 of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government Provisional Order Confirmation (Greater London Parks and Open Spaces) Act 1967, London Borough Councils are allowed to swear in council officers as constables for “securing the observance of the provisions of all enactments relating to open spaces under their control or management and of bye-laws and regulations made thereunder”? Do you know that Local Authority Parks Constables have all the powers of a constable in relation to bye-laws ?
Are you aware that in the United States, every community is entitled to run its own Police Department and each cannot prevent federal or state police from conducting local investigations into offenses over which they have jurisdiction? Are you aware that there are five major types of police agency: the federal system, consisting of the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice, including the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Secret Service, the Postal Inspection Service, and many others; police forces and criminal investigation agencies established by each of the 50 states of the union; sheriffs’ departments in several thousand counties, plus a few county police forces that either duplicate the sheriffs’ police jurisdictions or displace them; the police forces of about 1,000 cities and more than 20,000 townships and New England towns; and the police of some 15,000 villages, boroughs, and incorporated towns? Do you know that we still have special categories, such as the police of the District of Columbia; various forces attached to authorities governing bridges, tunnels, and parks; university, or “campus,” police forces; and some units that police special districts formed for fire protection, soil conservation, and other diverse purposes? Do you know that the existing American police structure to some extent reflects public opposition to any concentration of police power? Do you know that it has been argued that the nation would suffer, and local governments would be enfeebled, should all offenses become federal offences? Do you know that they believe that local problems require local remedies? Do you know that other countries with federal political structures have federal police forces as well as state forces that operate on the same principles as those observed in the United States?
Are you aware that in Australia each of the six States has its own police force to reflect federalism? Do you know that after India’s accession to independence in 1947, do you know that thevarious States and main cities inaugurated different police forces with their own specific features, making for a complex policing structure? Do you know that India also has central security agencies, such as the Border Security Force, the Central Reserve Police Force, and the National Security Guard, which specialize in counter-terrorism? Do you know that although they are national services, their members may be dispatched to particular areas to help solve local problems? Do you know that the police forces of Japan are deployed in a number of regional police prefectures. Are you aware that each regional police force in Japan has a certain degree of autonomy? Do you know that the police operate out of small police posts in rural areas and maintain an unparalleled closeness to the communities they serve? Are you aware that the central government’s National Police Agency only exerts strong leadership over local police forces and promotes common standards? Do you know that it further assists the local police to engage in secret intelligence gathering? Do you know that the police system of Brazil Federal and State Police Forces? Do you know that the police force of each State is under the authority of the state’s Secretariat for Public Security?
Do you know that European colonial powers established policing systems in both North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, and the legacy of colonialism accounts for many differences in national policing systems on the continent? Are you aware that in Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, and Tunisia, policing systems replicate the centralized police model applied in France, while Libya follows the centralized Italian model? Do you know that the countries of West and Central Africa that were colonized by France, Belgium, and Germany also have centralized police systems to depict the tendencies of their colonizers? Do you know that in general, the police forces in those countries are tripartite, comprising an independent municipal police force for the capital city, a national police force for all other cities, and a militarized gendarmerie for the countryside?
Do you know that countries that fell under the British sphere of influence, such as Egypt and Kenya, tend to have less-centralized police systems, with both regional police forces and municipal police organizations in large cities? Do you know that unlike other former British colonies, South Africa is policed by a single force—the South African Police Service (SAPS)—which conducts criminal investigation, intelligence, and forensics at the national level and is also deployed in the provinces of the country? Do you know that Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Uganda developed their own mixtures of federal (centralized) and regional (decentralized) policing in the post-colonial era and they are better for it today? Do you know that law enforcement in Canada is commissioned to the three levels of government: municipal (both lower and upper-tier), provincial, and federal? Do you know that most urban areas have been given the authority by the provinces to maintain their own police force? Do you know that it flies in the face of a breach to call Governors Chief Security Officers without having their own State Police? This cannot, unquestionably, be the smart way to promote security and welfare. No wonder the drones of insecurity are soaring high in the urban and rural areas of our country. Do you know that If we had State Police, the issue of Boko Haram would have been nipped in the bud? Do you know that people would have identified those engaging in robberies in their neighbourhood easily and reveal the intelligence to the officers in the State Police better? Do you know that those countries that colonised us are practising the State Police Model? Do you know that our democratic credential as a federation is meaningless as there is no State Police?
Do you know that the arguments that Nigeria may disintegrate if we have State Police is not valid? Are you aware that nothing threatens more the politics and economy of a community than insecurity of lives and property? Do you know that as we are looking forward to the adoption of State Police Model to boost our Federalism and security, we must address the issue of the Almajiri system? If you want to know more about that come along, please. Hurray! Are you aware that President Buhari has directed that the Almajiri system of guardianship should be halted immediately? Do you know that this cultural practice of giving out male children to religious leaders for guardianship has prevented many brilliant children from embracing western education? Do you know that some of them find it difficult to eat, cloth and live properly? Do you know that this tendency of vulnerability makes them easy ballistics to be wooed into terror groups? Do you know that they do not attend regular school, since, according to the National Council for the Welfare of the Destitute, some mallams indoctrinate them to regard Western education as a sin? Are you aware that Governor Abdullahi Ganduje admitted in 2017 that there were up to three million of them in Kano State, while a 2014 head-count identified 462,212 Almajiris in Katsina State, the State of Mr President? Are you aware that a study of the trajectory of riots in the northern states of Nigeria in 1953, 1966, 1980, 1982 and 1991 and all others since then, have had a prevalence of these child rioters from the reserve of the Almajeri? Are you aware that the Justice Anthony Aniagolu report on the Kano riots emphasised the large contribution of almajiris in the orgy of killings that left over 1,000 people dead? Do you know that out of the 94 fanatics initially arrested by police in 1993 after extremists rampaged through Funtua, Katsina State, killing hundreds of people, 45 were identified as almajiris? Do you know that they were prominent in the 1982 Bulumkutu riots in Maiduguri, Borno State, and in the orgy of violence in Kafanchan, Zaria, Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano and Katsina in 1987?
Do you know that the issue of this Almajiridoes not rear its ugly head in some of the Islamic countries? Do you know that Saudi Arabia has 94.48per cent literacy level? Do you know that Iran has 97per cent literacy level? Do you know that the United Arab Emirates has 93 per cent literacy level? Do you know that Turkey has 95.6 per cent literacy level? Do you know that they are smart ballistics that are ready to detonate at the least act of provocation? Are you aware that it accounts for about 8 million of the 13.5 million out-of-school children in Nigeria, the world’s highest, and almajiriare included in the 91. 8 million wretchedly poor Nigerians, making us the World Capital of Poverty for 2018?
Do you know that Mr President should go further to instruct all States to pass into law, Child’s Rights Laws in their respective States? Do you know that we need the State Police to drive the enforcement of that legislation? Do you know that we have to stop street begging which has now become a profession in all jurisdictions in Nigeria now. Do you know that we need the State Police to drive this drone? Are you aware that environmental sanitation is key to maintaining good health in our country? Are you aware that it will be better driven by the State Police and Environmental Health Professionals?
Do you know that malignant social and economic problem requires proper diagnosis and followed by workable solutions? Do you know that we need the State Police to drive Consumer Protection Law to safe millions of our people that are deceived by emergency pharmacists using microphones in all our markets to sell sub-standard or fake drugs to unsuspecting consumers?
Do you know that we do not need to see goats or sheep roaming about our streets and markets? Do you know that allowing dogs and birds to roam about compromises our collective health and drives us away from civilization? Do you know that we need State Police to drive all these health initiatives?
Have you been told that Mr President has urged all Governors to double-up efforts to generate internal revenue? Do you know that the States and Local Governments need serious means through IGR to survive this very hard season? Do you know that much has not been achieved as there is no State Police to drive the agenda? Are you aware that many of us have not developed the needed tax culture? Do you know that we need the State Police to help in this direction? Do you know that our environment including forests are violated by bush-burning, illegal lumbering activities, poising of water courses, illegal hunting for games are commonplace? Do you know that we need the State Police to bring culprits to book? Have you noticed that truancy and indiscipline are colouring our school programmes and agenda? Do you know that cultism is still in vogue? Do you know that drug addiction is the banner our youths are raising up? Do you know that we need the State Police to assist? Do you know that some fake people are practising Medicine and operating hospitals? Do you know that scores of innocent patients are butchered daily in their operation theatres located in nooks and crannies? Do you know that we need the State Police to drive this initiative?
Have you strolled out in the evening on our streets? Do you notice noise pollution in all our stalls, music raised to the highest decibels? Do you know that noise pollution promotes trauma and psychological break-down? Do you know that we need the State Police to come to the rescue? Have you noticed the number of scavengers moving about in market places and street corners? Have you seen them at dunghills and waste-depot fighting rabidly to have a rich catch? Do you know that we need agencies to profile them to determine their citizenship and provide assistance for them? Are you aware that the State Police will do this and more?
Do you know that we have cases of illegal possession of firearms in our communities, leading to escalation of crimes? Are you aware that the State Police will assist better to mop up these weapons of mass destruction of soft targets? Do you know that there are hard guys harassing people on their farms and new sites? Do you know that this is a short way to de-market economic development in a State? Do you know that the federal police is over-streched and that State Police may be better and handy to comb the crannies and halt the infractions? Do you know that until we implement and enforce Child’s Rights Laws in all States, the issue of child-abuse, molestation, incest, rape, ritual killing, organ-harvesting, drug-abuse, human trafficking would be the woes the rural communities are battling with? Do you know that the establishment of the State Police will address these gaps? Do you know that it will promote employment and economic activities and reduce crime? Are you aware that just as Iranians shot down the offending American drone from their airspace before it caused untold havocs, we must unite to advocate for the State Police as an invincible surface-to-air missile to shoot down the offending drone crime in Nigeria. The statement of the Revolutionary Guard commander Gen. Hossein Salami cuts in: “We do not have any intention for war with any country, but we are fully ready for war. Borders are our red line. Any enemy that violates the borders will be annihilated.”