By Faith Awa Maji, Katsina
Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, has blasted President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement on reasons for the deteriorating state of security in parts of the country.
Recall, President Buhari had last week during a television interview attributed the reported state of insecurity nationwide to the failure of the states and local government councils across the country to manage security challenges in their respective places.
Masari, who cited a certain Constitutional provisions during an interactive session in his office with some selected journalists at the weekend, said it was erroneous for anybody to blame states and local governments for the alarming state of insecurity in the country.
“It is the responsibility of the Federal Government to ensure the protection of lives and property of citizens in all nooks and cranny of the country. When you look at the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the issue of security is under the Exclusive List. So, it is the responsibility of the Federal Government and states can only complement and that’s what we have always done and still doing.
“From the local governments, we assist the Police, the DSS, the NSDC. There may be states that do not complement efforts of the security agencies, and perhaps those were the states that the President was referring to. But sincerely speaking, based on provisions of the Constitution, the blame should go to the Federal Government for the general state of insecurity in Nigeria”.
He again stressed out that, he was 100 per cent in support of the clamour for restructuring and devolution of more powers to the states which should also entail enhanced revenue to these tiers of government to enable them to adequately perform their constitutional roles.
Governor Aminu Bello Masari too added his voice on the establishment of a state police, saying, it will enhance general security as the personnel will be expected to perform their defined roles without infringing on duties of the Nigerian police.
“The issue of a state police is part of what we are talking about, and I am for it. All we need to do is to formalise activities of the vigilante groups and community policing and give them clear definitions on their limits and those of the Nigerian police.
“We have the Nigerian police and the NSDC that we currently support their operations and nothing stops a state police from coexisting side by side with the Nigerian police.
“The issue of security is actually the responsibility of everybody, as we all have roles to play. It’s not about the President or the Governor or local government chairman or a legislator or minister.
“These bandits and their informants have addresses. They live within the communities and the people know them, and security has no coloration in terms of political party affiliations or religion.
“I am also 100 per cent for restructuring and devolution of powers or whatever you call it. If you devolve, states and local governments will have more financial independence.
“We should earn resources according to the size and economy of our states. During the First Republic, the then Emir of Kano was the highest paid Emir because of the state’s revenue base.
“What we have today as Katsina State was a province made up of Katsina and Daura emirates. They ran their civil service and police and prisons and Judiciary then were under the Native Authority, and they did well.
“They built and managed schools. If it was done successfully then, who says it cannot be done today.
“We ought to take another look at the Constitution. With the right leadership and proper arrangement, these things are still possible.
“There are some Federal ministries with so many parastatals under each one. How can one person as Minister provide effective oversight for these parastatals.
“We should devolve more power to the states, but in such a way that we don’t have to weaken the authority of the Federal Government in terms of performing its constitutional responsibilities”.
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