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FG Has Abdicated Its Security Responsibility, Says Lame

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A former Minister of Police Affairs, Dr. Ibrahim Yakubu Lame, spoke to Segun Awofadeji on the state of the nation. Excerpts:

Why are you interested in the governorship of Bauchi State?
I will declare for the governorship of Bauchi State. I have not done that but by God’s willing, I will very soon declare. And on declaring my candidature, I will unfold my programme of action. I have experts who are now working on my programme of action, and I will unfold that from the day I’m making my own declaration. The areas I’m going to focus are three or four. We are going to focus first of all on the issue of governance; I’m taking about the ability to really fall back on our institutions.

Our institutions of governance must be made to be functional, and once they are functional, we can address other issues. Issues of capacity to really deliver the goods, issue of capacity to really re-establish the institution of governance, issues of capacity to really make participatory democracy meaningful. This will be one of the most essential and critical area of what I will focus on, and the second area is the issue of the economy.

I believe the economy of Bauchi State is a very high area of potential where the people can be adequately and gainfully engaged to have an improved living; I believe we can do that. We have the potential and capacity to and I believe we can do that through many interventions, by first of all creating an environment for investments. You cannot rely on the government to do that, I believe we have the potential and capacity to provide each and every person of Bauchi, the entire Nigerians and outsiders to come and invest.

We have the capacity, we have the resources both human and material and we are wasting these resources. I can give you a few examples. In the area of agriculture, in the area of solid minerals, and in the most viable areas of sports and tourism, Bauchi State can make billions out of sports and tourism – billions of naira. So, these are issues that you see daily. This is where we think we should concentrate on the economy.

The third area and which is critical is on security. We believe security is a community issue, and being a community issue, we must involve the community in providing security. I assure you, I will pursue the goal of creating state police. I believe in state police; I believe we must constitutionally follow the case of state, because without state police, you cannot solve the problems of the community. If we succeed in getting that, I will also use the issue of community police. The community must be in a position to provide security for themselves; we must know who we are. In other words, we must know the data of our people.

I will conduct a census of the people of Bauchi State within the first one year if elected. We have to know who is in Bauchi State, what he is doing, how he is doing it, who comes into Bauchi State. We will register births and deaths; we will provide environment for data generation because without data, you cannot govern well, and that is the problem with Nigeria as a whole, we don’t have data for anything. That’s why you have ghost workers, you have everything ghost in Nigeria – everything. And with ghost this, ghost that, you cannot function; you cannot really do much. So, Bauchi State will be a case study of data stability when we come into government.
But how do you intend to actualise state police when it is not in the Constitution?

I told you I will pursue the issue of constitutional amendment to make sure that it is brought under the concurrent legislative list. And in any case, if we don’t have that structure, we can use the law to also provide some structure that will provide that kind of security. But ultimately, we should succeed, I believe, in creating a state police. Look at what is happening in the North-east, if we had state police in the North-east, I’m telling you the problem of insurgency wouldn’t have been at the level it is today. So whoever is talking to you that state police will be misused or abused; are the national police also not being abused?

The issue is not about abuse, the issue is doing the correct thing. Don’t always think of what people will do or the bad thing people have been doing, think of how you will improve. I believe by involving the community in securing its own environment, we will succeed in having a very vibrant, result-oriented security network. There is no way you can provide security without believing in what you are doing. If you belong to a community, you believe that you must secure them, and therefore, you will reduce some excesses and see to it that, that institution is guaranteed. And in any case, there is no legal provision that stops you from making a very vibrant community policing.

Community policing is actually being practised all over the world including the United States, including Island, including Britain, including Far East. They do community policing very effectively. Because if you rely on this number of police you have, you cannot achieve security. In the whole of Nigeria, we have only 376, 000 police and we have a population of about 178 million. So, you cannot adequately cover everywhere. So, you must introduce a lot of things; you must introduce electronic security. I believe in Bauchi, you can capture the entire state through electronic security.

We can do that, we don’t need the federal government to give us the authority to do that. If the Governor of Bauchi State wants to capture the state, he can do it and nobody will stop him from doing that. So the moment we come into government, we are going to assure the people that we will capture our entire state through technology, and through effective training, the local population will be conscious about this policing.

How do you see the ransacking of the media houses by the military under the guise of routine security checks?
It is the most dangerous thing to have in a democracy. You cannot gag the people, once you do that, you are showing some tendency of dictatorship and you can’t have dictatorship in a democracy. And dictatorship in a democracy is more dangerous than military dictatorship. What happened is a dangerous development and must be stopped by patriotic Nigerians. I believe Nigerians have the capacity to do something about it. It is not just enough for the people to think only politicians can solve problems, once this kind of things happened, every Nigerian should come out and condemn it including you journalists. So what happened must be condemned by everybody.

But what are your chances as an opposition when all the state machineries are in the hands of the ruling PDP?
Simply put, the people of Bauchi State will judge us by our actions. The people of Bauchi are capable of knowing who will deliver for them; the people of the state have demonstrated in the past that they can defend their own votes, so I have that belief and I also believe because of the message we are sending out – our commitments and our capacities are coming very clearly – people are now understanding who we are; people believe in what we are telling them, and people are getting committed in our cause because they believe our cause is their cause.

So it is negative thinking to always think because the government has the police, the security, no; times have changed. No security man who is worth his salt will allow himself to be used against the collective interest of the people. I’m telling you this; we have reached an age that the police, the military, the SSS, INEC and whichever force will never work against the people of Nigeria. I’m assuring you this; I’m not joking, they are all suffering from bad governance of the PDP.

The election of 2015 is an election that will make Nigeria or destroy Nigeria. And since that is the position, we believe that the people of Nigeria will defend their votes, and it is our belief that the people of Nigeria will do what is right, so we are confident we are going to win.

What with the agitation for power shift to either Bauchi Central or North?
You see some people don’t understand where we are coming from. Everybody is concerned about quality leadership; the APC is concerned about how to change this environment, and in any case, we are not PDP; we are a new party with new focus, new purpose, new ideas and fundamentally, our concern is to change our society and build the capacity of our own people; to build unity and prosperity among our people. You cannot continue to rule Nigeria based on negative issues like I’m from the North, I’m from the South, I’m from this, I’m a Muslim, I’m a Christian, no.

You cannot and in the case of Bauchi State, I’m coming to contest as a citizen of Bauchi and I’m going to be a governor for all. I’m not going to be a Governor for Bauchi South, I’m not going to be a Governor for Bauchi North, I intend to serve the people of Bauchi state to the best of my ability, and anybody from this state can do the same if he has the same ideas that I have or we have. The most logical thing is to bring out what you think you can offer and that will soon take off in Nigeria. We are not going to continue to say this part of the country or that part of the country; this religion or that religion, no. That must be stop. We must begin to understand that what we need most is the unity of this country, and you cannot have unity until you know it intends is to provide good governance.
What is the North doing to bring insurgency to an end?

Well, I believe much needs to be done. That is an area that is very sensitive. But I feel sad whenever I see our people being killed every day to no end, and nothing seems to be happening. That is a very serious dilemma we are – very serious.
But why is the PDP bent on pushing the blame of insecurity on the APC?

That is an abdication of responsibility. The PDP is abdicating its own responsibility. How could they say? What is the purpose of government? The purpose of government is to provide security of lives and property. And the federal government is the custodian of the instrument of security. And for them to say they are blaming the APC means they are failing in their job. Whether the APC is truly or not, they should be able to stop them from doing that. They should not abdicate their responsibility because of incapacity to do the correct thing.

Article Credit: Thisdaylive

Updated 4 Years ago

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Tags:     FG     Dr. Ibrahim Yakubu Lame     Bauchi State     Constitution