A former Presidential Candidate and a Chieftain of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim has called on the APC leadership, President Bola Tinubu and the National Assembly leadership to as a matter of urgency, implement the party policy of decentralization of Policing to halt the seemingly unending high profile crime of killings and kidnappings across the country.

The former Presidential candidate said this at the weekend in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, on the heels of the abduction and killing, last Thursday, of Olu Koro, in Ekiti Local Government Area of the State, His Royal Highness, Oba Olusegun Aremu, a retired General.

Before the Olu Koro incident, on January 29, gunmen also killed two Ekiti monarchs – the Onimojo of Imojo, Oba Olatunde Olusola, and the Elesun of Esun Ekiti, Oba Babatunde Ogunsakin. Also in the same area, the assailants attacked a school bus and whisked away five pupils of the Apostolic Faith Group of Schools, three teachers, and the bus driver.

Civil society groups, under the aegis of the Civil Society Joint Action Group, said on Monday that 2,423 persons had been killed, while 1,872 others had been abducted in the eight months since President Bola Tinubu’s administration began.

The group added insecurity had persisted over the last three administrations, with 24,816 Nigerians killed and 15,597 persons abducted in the last administration of President Buhari, between 2019 and 2023.

Olawepo-Hashim maintained that the barbaric killing is condemnable and represented another sordid episode in the unending killings of community leaders and their subjects by rampaging gangs of terrorists/kidnappers moving like a guerrilla movement round most states in Nigeria.

According to him, “I really do not understand the hesitation on the part
of the President and the party leadership to lead the charge. Many State governments and Local Government Councils are being controlled by APC. The Party also controls the National Assembly and Majority of State Houses of Assembly. So, it means the party can obtain the Legislative consensus within one week to bring to birth State Policing.”

For some time now, there has been a clamour for the establishment of State Police Force as opposed to what was laid down in Section 214 of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution. This is as a result of the deteriorating situation of the security system in Nigeria. Some other reasons for this clamour are that: the geographical area of Nigeria is too large for a Central police command; Policing citizens should be the responsibility of the respective states and not that of the Federal Government.

Not a few Nigerians had argued that centralized police system is not only inadequate but cannot meet the security need of the country and the people. They insisted that the police should be under the control of the State and Local governments since they are closer to the people instead of the Federal Government.

Olawepo-Hashim argued that while immediate creation of local police would not stop all the problem of insecurity in Nigeria, it would solve about fifty percent of it, adding that “we cannot let the bloodletting continue and carry on as if we are confused on what is to be done to stop it”.

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