The Akure chairman of the, South West Governors Forum, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu cries out about the the nation’s current security architecture which does not guarantee an effective policing and not addressing the array of security challenges antagonising the country.
Still addressing this issue he said, having a single command in Abuja to manage the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory does not ensure a reassuring; tackling of the issues currently plaguing policing in Nigeria. He made this statement during a virtual panel discussion on the #EndSARS protest that occurred last year.
It was during a panel discussion he spoke of this issue with the host being the University of Notre Dame, which is part of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies lecture series.
The honourable panellists include; Former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase; Activist and Co-Convener, #Bringbackourgirls, Aisha Yesufu and Professor of Political Science, University of Notre Dame, Rev. Robert Dowd.
Kellogg Doctoral Affiliate moderated the discussion, with Father Fidelis Olokunboro. The lecture aim is about bringing prominent scholars and practitioners together to which they then offer insights and encourage interdisciplinary discussions among students and faculties pertaining issues of critical significance to the world.
Akeredolu spoke on “Constitution and the Rule of Law prescribe the working mechanism of the State Security Outfit vis-a-vis the rights of the individuals” He explained by saying that the Nigerian Constitution assures the rule of law and fundamental human rights.
However, he mentioned that, such rights can be suspended or curtailed during social or political commotion, to which he added that the state has the mandatory obligation to maintain law and order in a times of persistent crisis or violence.
Akeredolu pointed out that no right is absolute; the Governor went on to re-emphasize that basic rights can be put on hold if it threatens the peace of the collective interest of the people.
He also noted that the policies for addressing the security issues are inconsistent and that it have festered for a while, he went on to stress that the #EndSars protest uncovered one of the numerous crises which the county currently face.
He said with how much destruction the protest ended with, however citing it as commendable before it was hijacked by hoodlums who had nothing but destructive intentions. “#ENDSARS protest was hijacked by hoodlums. It was not organised to loot and destroy.
“What happened in Lagos cannot be said to be #ENDSARS. It was the handiwork of destructive elements. “It is not something that anybody will encourage. When it started, it was commended. “The way it ended must be condemned because we allowed hoodlums to hijack it.
“One thing is clear, the Nigerian Constitution as we have it today, in spite of the flaws, has guaranteed the rule of laws and fundamental human rights. Everybody including the security agents must respect this.
“But the state has an obligation to maintain law and order. In a period of pervasive crisis, certain basic rights can be suspended for peace which is the collective interest of the people. It gives us a clear understanding that no right is absolute. ”
The governor also faulted the process of recruitment and employment of the officers of the Nigerian Police, saying reports that payments that is been gotten for recruitment into the Police Force is nothing but worrisome.