Yoruba leaders deplore lopsided security appointments

President Muhammadu Buhari

Some prominent Yoruba leaders, on Saturday, deplored the pattern of appointments made so far by President Muhammadu Buhari in the security sector, saying that they were both unconstitutional and insensitive to the multi-ethnic nature of the Nigerian society.

Speaking with Sunday Tribune, Publicity Secretary, Yoruba Unity Forum (YUF) Dr Kunle Olajide, said the appointments violated the principles of federalism and in particular, the federal character principle.

He added that the nation’s centralised security system was unsuitable to a federal state and multi-ethnic country like Nigeria.

“The pattern of appointments in the security sector is most unfortunate and it runs against the grain of true federalism and federal character principle.

“It is completely against the grain in a multi-ethnic, diverse society like Nigeria. It gives the impression that the entire security apparatus of this country is under one ethnic nationality to the disadvantage of others. In any case, in a heterogenous country like Nigeria, we    cannot guarantee peace and security from a centrally controlled security organisation. It is not done anywhere in the world.

“I mean, in a situation where police commissioners take directives straight from the Inspector General of Police rather than state governors, citizens do not feel safe under this kind of security apparatus because there is a lot of mutual suspicion  and it also ignites ethnic rivalry. Policing can be best achieved by locals,”  he stated.

Also weighing in on the issue, a renowned academic, elder statesman and member of the 2014 National Conference, Dr Amos Akingba,  said it was not even strictly correct to say that the majority of the heads of the security agencies are Northerners.

Rather, he said, the appointments are a hundred per cent in favour of the North.

Dr Akingba said if President Buhari was uncomfortable with the 1999 Constitution as amended, the proper thing to do was to pursue constitutional amendment, rather than violating the supreme law of the land.

“The appointments are insensitive and unconstitutional because they violate the Federal Character Principle enshrined in the 1999 Constitution as amended.

“The 1999 constitution as amended has to be followed. You must follow the law of the land; the constitution is the supreme law of the land and the government is not following it.  The solution is to follow the constitution and if it is not working well, you amend it.

“Nobody should be above the law. The constitution was made in view of the multi-ethnic society that we have. People must be represented in every arm of governance,” he said.