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Don’t Expect Buhari To Police Your States, Falana tells Governors:

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Mr. Femi Falana, Human rights lawyer and senior advocate of Nigeria, on Wednesday told governors of the 36 states of the federation not to expect President Muhammadu Buhari to help them maintain law and order in their states.

He stated that the Governor should exercise power over the police in their states.

The Lawyer said this at a Colloquium in honour of the Executive Editor, The News/PM News, Kunle Ajibade who turned 60 two days ago.

The event which was held at the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs, NIIA, Victoria Island, Lagos, under the theme, “A Brighter Future for Nigeria and how to get there.”

While speaking about the killings in the country, Falana said unequivocally that it was not the duty of the Federal Government to maintain law and order in the states, as such duties belonged to the governors.

“A governor cannot go to the television and be crying that his people are killed. No. Under the constitution of 1999, Section 214, we don’t have a federal government police, we have the Nigerian Police Force which shall be controlled, organised and supervised by the Nigerian Police Council.

“Who are the members of the Nigerian Police Council? The president as Chairman, Inspector General of Police, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission and the 36 state governors. So, we have a body where the governors constitute the largest number to determine the fate of the police.

“A governor cannot go to the television and be crying that his people are killed. No. Under the constitution of 1999, Section 214, we don’t have a federal government police, we have the Nigerian Police Force which shall be controlled, organised and supervised by the Nigerian Police Council.

“The president cannot appoint the IGP without seeking your consent or remove one. But what has happened since 1999? The governors have totally abdicated the responsibility of managing the Nigerian police force to the president. No governor is informed, they are only informed in a meeting and nobody will oppose it and that is the end of the matter. That is why we are in this mess.

“We are in a republic where the Supreme Court has held that the governor of a state is not for decoration, you have the power to give instruction to the police. The only time the commissioner of police can disapprove your instructions is when he says, please, I want to confirm from the president,” said.

Falana added that he had never heard under Buhari’s government, , he has never heard of a situation where a governor ordered a Commissioner of Police to look for kidnappers who were causing problem in his state and the commissioner refused to do so.

“The only thing Abuja does for the police is the payment of their salary. The operational allowances, equipment and the rest have been abandoned to the states. Why then are the governors not taking control of the law and order in their states?

The human rights activist added that robbery and kidnapping were also going on in other parts of the country, he Lamented that people are still being killed in Kaduna, Zamfara, Benue and Taraba,

“How did we get here? So, if we are gathered here to discuss the future of Nigeria, there has to be peace before we can plan ahead. Armed bandits have killed about 5,000 people in the last one-year in Zamfara State.

“Since the government has lost the monopoly of violence to criminals as it is happening now, it is high time we called on the National Assembly to enact a law to allow military training for Nigerian citizens. Pending the enactment of that law, I am calling on President Buhari to make facilities available in those states where lives have become totally endangered is in line with section 220 of the Nigerian constitution,” he said.

“The success of any African country as said by former Ghanaian president will be nothing if it is not linked to the success of the people.

“My vision is for a Nigeria that will give leadership to other nations, particularly within the Lake region of Africa, where the wealth of our race is actually. Nigeria has the potential to rally the annexation of the resources in Central Africa namely Congo, Kenya and others. Only Nigeria has the means to lead the process of using the resources for the uplift of black race,” he said.

Joshua Oyenigbehin is an introvert who is passionate about Storytelling, writing and teaching. He sees his imagination as an unsearchable world, more magical than a fairyland. He has written a novel and working on another.