8th February, 2018
The Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday assured that the Federal Government would not rest on its oars to provide adequate security for the citizenry.
Osinbajo gave the assuarance while addressing a National Security Summit organised by the National Assembly in Abuja.
According to him, the country has suffered a lot of security challenges including the Boko Haram insurgency, herdsmen/farmers clashes, cattle rustling, kidnapping and other forms of criminal activities which predate the administration.
He recalled the various killing incidents in parts of the country and noted that as a people every killing undermined the security of the state.
Osinbajo stated that the country had vast population and land mass to be centrally managed by the police in Abuja and stressed the need for the re-engineering of the nation’s security architecture and strategies.
Accordingly, the Vice President said that security should be provided by communities and states in order to realise the UN proposal of one policeman for every 400 citizens.
“We cannot realistically police a country the size of Nigeria centrally from Abuja.
“State police and other policing methods are clearly the way to go,’’ he declared.
He attributed the rise in violent crimes in the country to the proliferation of small arms imported into the country by criminals fleeing other troubled countries and noted that the Customs and Immigration Services were being strengthened to check such migration.
The Vice President also called for synergy and collaboration with the country’s neighbours to prevent cross-border crimes, adding that communities experiencing conflicts should embrace dialogue.
Osinbajo said the country’s security apparatus had performed creditably given their resource constraints and advised that they should be more prompt in responding to attacks.
He stated that in the past many persons alleged to be involved in violent crimes were arrested and solicited the cooperation of the judiciary in ensuring speedy trial of the suspects.
On herdsmen/farmers conflicts, he said that stakeholders were devising better means of cattle rearing, adding that making herdsmen and cattle sedentary would not only reduce the tension but also increase the productivity of the cattle.
Osinbajo also stated that the federal government would not dictate to states what to do with their land.
He noted the depletion of grazing reserves and routes in some parts of the country saying that for effective grazing, ranching was the right option.
The Vice President said that about 13 states had pledged land for commercial ranching purposes noting that stakeholders must stay together to work out solutions that would benefit all.
“Let me reiterate that on no account will any land be ceased or forcefully taken to create any of the ranches or grazing areas; all insinuations to that effect should be disregarded.
“Instead it is our view that states that are willing and have set aside land and gazetted grazing reserves should collaborate with investors.’’
He described the summit as important part of ongoing engagements with stakeholders on the security challenges of the nation.