Nigeria cannot continue to run national policing system ― Activist
• Says Amotekun meets the security concerns of her initiators and people
The convener, Say No campaign, Comrade Ezenwa Nwagwu, has described the South-West security outfit, Amotekun, as a welcome development saying, it is high time Nigeria focused on running a decentralised security system that would make communities and states safer.
Nwagwu, who spoke exclusively to Tribune Online in a telephone interview, said the conversation around the safety of people should not be politicised as this has been responsible for the bad security situation in the country.
He said the security of the people must be democratised so that the people would effectively evolve systems that would secure them and their environment.
According to him, those steering the ship of state should be courageous enough to accept the fact that crime is not politics and politics is not crime, thus, criminal acts should be punished according to the penalty defined by law.
“I think that security of the Nigerian state and people has been politicised. It shouldn’t be so. However, we owe ourselves the responsibility of speaking to ourselves on the need to be dispassionate on security matter because it concerns us all.
“Haven said that we must come to that point where we look and treat security issue as a people do. See crime for what it is. Who is responsible for any crime that has been committed; what is security architecture of the country?
“We can not have a national policing system, we cannot continue to have a national policing system. The community to states should fashion out community architectures that can deal with security problems within that environment.
“You can call it anything but you must have the institution that you are dealing with security, from the standpoint of how the people themselves, see security and how they want to take care of it,” Nwagwu stated.
He dismissed the insinuations that the move was tantamount to securing restructuring from the back door.
Nwagwu said restructuring is an entirely different conversation which would need to be distilled in specific terms for all parties to look at but the issue of security was strictly about the safety of lives and property which the government and people owe themselves.
He maintained that it was sheer pretence to hold the belief that only a central system of policing was appropriate for a complex security situation that has confronted the nation.
He pointed out that Amotekun was a mere security outfit like others before it across Nigeria.
Comrade Nwgwu, who likened Amotekun to a normal private security outfit, argued that most estates in the country have security outfit securing them other than the police to whom payments are made by residents of these estates.
Amotekun, according to him, falls within this category to meet the security concerns of the people in their communities and localities.
He called on leaders to work out a template that would insulate the security outfit from the excesses of any political leader in their respective states by institutionalising them.
His words: “The challenge we have is the pretence that we can solve our security problems nationally, am talking restructuring now. Restructuring is an omnibus conversation in dealing with security problem. If we had this design in the South-West across regions, we would have stemmed banditry.
“Anambra vigilante service has operated a state apparatus. Every state in Nigeria has one security outfit or the other. Even in Lagos, you have had KAI and others doing security function, solving the security problem of their people.
“Conversation around security needs to be democratised,” Nwagwu stated.