Two senior lawyers, Mr. Kunle Adegoke (SAN) and Dr. Fassy Yusuf, have faulted the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to state governors to sort out insecurity problems in their domains. The president had, while speaking on an interview session with Arise TV on Thursday, told state governors, complaining of herdsmen invasions of their lands, to find a lasting solution to the crisis, saying it is the duty of the governors to protect citizens of their states. During the interview, the president narrated how two South-West governors visited him recently to complain about herdsmen encroaching on farmers’ lands in their regions. He said he told them: “You know these people more than I do, and you are democratically elected to protect your people.
Don’t sit idly expecting me to do everything, take action.” However, in their reactions to the president’s submissions, the lawyers said it is not in doubt that the current state of insecurity in the country is beyond what the governors can tackle. In his comments, Mr. Kunle Adegoke (SAN) said there was no way state governors can tackle insecurity in their states because they have no control over the security apparatus of the country. He said: “The president knows the rising insecurity is beyond what the governors can tackle. Asking the governors to go to their various states to go and solve the problem is like wanting the problem to continue. The state governors don’t control the police and they don’t control the army.
“The president, who controls the security apparatus, has not been able to solve the bandits’ problem in Katsina, not to talk of Benue, Zamfara, Niger and other states concerned. The Federal Government that is opposing the activities of Amotekun and insisting that grazing routes should be created for local and foreign Fulanis to continue grazing unhindered is now saying governors should sort out insecurity problems in their states. It’s like saying that the Federal Government does not want to address the insecurity problem facing the country, so we are on our own.”
Speaking in a similar vein, Dr. Fassy Yusuf said the president’s directive is misconceived and misplaced. “The call by the president on state governors to take over the security of their states is misconceived and misplaced. It is devoid of any reasoning and at variance with the situation on ground. “Firstly, all the security apparatus in this country is concentrated at the federal level. If hypothetically, the IGP gave an order to commissioners of police across the states and the governors gave a counter-directive, whose order would be obeyed by the commissioners of police? We all know it is the IGP’s order that would be obeyed. “The governors are said to be Chief Security Officers (CSOs) in their states, but in practice, it does not operate that way. What I think the president should be doing is to encourage the National Assembly to facilitate the decentralization of the Nigerian Police and security apparatus of the country, so that security can be tackled from the grassroots,” he said.