Why don’t Nigerians know what it means to be Nigerians — Fayemi

Security challenges across the country can be addressed when the Nigerian government constitutionally allows states to have their own police, State Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State said on Wednesday.

This advice was given by Fayemi in his speech at the Zoom conference followed by SaharaReporters on Wednesday.

Speaking on the subject, National Security Challenges in Nigeria: Setting the Legislative Agenda, Fayemi described the national tasks the Nigerian government was dealing with as enormous.

He said tasks could be reduced when governors are allowed to focus on security, among other functions.

He said, “The constitutional arrangement needs to be addressed in order to reduce the items on the exclusive list which security is one of them. We must convey the security of the nation.

“Excessive centralization of security cannot solve this problem. We need a multi-level security arrangement in the state and local communities.

“In all European countries like Canada, Australia, Britain and the rest, communities manage their security system and are accountable to the central police.”

The chairman of the Forum of Governors of Nigeria said that the Nigerian people have found help in their ethnic and religious beliefs and that this has negatively affected nation building.

He stated that the NGF is an institution that seeks and promotes the interests of the people who voted the governors to power, but regretting that the security lapses have worsened the basic issues of nationality.

“We have an unfinished state-building project in our hands. People tend to react and are more committed to their ethnic and religious shells than to focusing on the fundamental issues of citizenship and nation ownership.

“The trajectory of the challenges we face is not Boko Haram in the northeast, banditry in the northeast, cattle breeders in the middle belt or kidnapping cases in the southwest and southeast.

“It’s more about our failure to think about a state-building project. I am not saying that these problems are not with us, but there are problems between the government and the people.

“The elite concern is that our biggest challenge is in the fact that we don’t know what it means to be Nigerians.”