FG should use Abuja as pilot scheme for state police –Obika, Reps member

In the last few weeks, the spate of kidnapping and other forms of insecurity have heightened in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. Like Abuja, other parts of the country are also experiencing serious security challenges.

While there are divergent views on how best to tackle the security challenges, the members of the House of Representatives representing AMAC / Bwari Federal Constituency of the FCT, Chinedu Obika, told Daily Sun that state police will go a long way in combating insecurity in the country.

Obika, who decried the spate of kidnapping in the FCT, wants the government to use Abuja as a pilot scheme for the state police.

There is a rise in insecurity in the FCT. In the last few weeks, several residents have been kidnapped. What do you think is the way out?


The insecurity in the FCT is like when you see a tree bearing fruits, it is expected that the fruits will ripe and eventually fall. So, the problem of insecurity in the FCT, every right-thinking person knows that it was a problem waiting to happen. When you heard of attacks of banditry and kidnappings in Nasarawa, in Niger State, in Kogi, in Kaduna, what were you expecting?

Eventually, it will come on us here. It will end up in Abuja. Most people from these states that they can kidnap that can pay ransom have all ran away from those states. And where are they? In Abuja. So, criminals go to their banks. Abuja is like the bank of the kidnappers now. When everybody has left the states, where they can get them and now, they are here. They are now taking the boldness to come down here to get them.

That’s why in the center of Abuja, even in Kurudu Estate that is an Army scheme; where you expect that criminals will think twice before they go down to a place like that; they can still go to a place where retired generals live to go and kidnap people; what would happen to our rural communities? Our rural communities are deserted, as I speak and this is happening under the seat of power, where the diplomatic community lives. Heads of government agencies. Parliamentarians. If any of these diplomats is picked today, that is the end. Every embassy will call their people back. Then how can we say that we are still in charge. It calls for concern.

The fight to rescue Abuja from the hands of the kidnappers is a fight this government must fight with all its strength. I am not saying that it is only Abuja that should be safe. Something should be done in every part of this country, about it. But the seat of power, if it is taken, then nowhere is safe anymore.

So, what do you think is the way out?

The way out? There should be institutional reforms. The things to be done can be divided into two; the immediate measures and the measures that can come with time. And that one has to do with the institutional reforms.

The institutional reforms I am talking about is this- the DSS command that we have in Abuja, in my own opinion should be separated from the national DSS that we have. So that they can be given more staff, adequate fund, to do their work as it relates to intelligence gathering.

We should know who is coming in and who is going out. We should know lives were. When I was small, I used to hear that there informants everywhere. We should have informants. Okada riders. Taxi drivers. Farmers. Food sellers. Even teachers in the school. And we can only do that when we have a command that the hierarchy of the command cannot be changed overnight.

Some people can be appointed here, before you know it, because of politics, they are taken out and another person comes. The stability that will give that kind of productivity you need in that office, will not be there. That is one.

In time past, we have talked about the issue of state Police, which most politicians are against because of what will come out of it, by our governors using it to start intimidating people; rigging elections. And so on. But in our wisdom, National Assembly members, we can think how the appointment of the state police chiefs can come by that will reduce the influence of the governors.

We can still make the funding of the police to come from the consolidated revenue fund. Through whatever criteria that will be used- the population of the state, the land mass, to determine the amount that will be allocated to each state. But the appointment of who becomes the police chief should be handled in the state.

If you have a police commissioner in a state, before you know it; he is removed. Tell me how many commissioners have lasted in the state for four years? Rarely. So, how can you have a programme and follow it up? So continuity is part of the problem.

Now, FCT is under the preview of the President of the Federal Republic. The President can use FCT as a pilot scheme to test run what state Police should be all about. We should have a police chief for Abuja, separate from the Nigeria Police Force.  Let us practice it here and know what comes out of it.

So, with that say so, so amount of money that comes from revenue of Abuja, certain percent can go to the police. They will start building their infrastructure. We don’t have enough police station here. We don’t have enough policemen in Abuja. They don’t have the required equipment that they need.

And each state should be able to police itself, based on what it has. What it takes to police Abuja, is different from what it takes to police Gombe or Ebonyi State. It is not the same. And the revenue generation of the states are not the same.   State Police is the way to go as far we are concerned.

In the interim, the DSS, the NSCDC, the police, we need more personnel in Abuja. Two, we need to use modern technology to fight crime. We should be able to have drones to use for surveillance.

From last year to now, more than 100 people have been kidnapped in Abuja. So, for how long? People killed. A young child of 13 years murdered.  My constituents are under siege as I speak to you. We cannot allow criminals to be on rampage.  We need to fight crimes with infrastructure. We must build roads that lead to our rural communities.


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