Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, yesterday, declared that Nigeria needs competent leadership to end its daunting security challenges, saying that the remote causes of insecurity must be identified and tackled headlong.
The governor said this at the 63rd birthday lecture in honour of veteran journalist, author and activist, Mr. Richard Akinnola, in Lagos. The theme of the event was: ‘Security Challenges in Nigeria and its Implications for Sustainable Development’.
The event, chaired by former second vice-president of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Mr. Monday Ubani, was graced by eminent Nigerians, including the Editor of
Vanguard Newspapers, Mr Eze Anaba; media executives, legal icons and human rights activists, among others.
In his address, Governor Tambuwal said: “Nigeria needs a leader that is versatile and one that has friends and associates across the length and breadth of the country. “Nigeria needs a leader with a broad world view, and not a parochial and provincial politician. We need an incorruptible leader who understands that the best way to fight corruption is by personal examples and also by the building of strong institutions that can withstand shocks and manipulations.
“Nigeria needs a leader in tune with the times, who is reasonably aware of the modern demands of technology in solving societal problems.“Yes, Nigeria needs a bridge builder, a compassionate leader, sensitive to the needs and aspirations of the poor and needy.
“A leader whose words count and can be counted on. Indeed, a leader with courage. An accountable leader who can be trusted to face the challenges of nationhood squarely without sentiments or pandering to interests inconsistent with national goals.“A leader required by Nigeria will regard Nigeria as his constituency, not his State, tribe, religion or region. Leadership that inspires the nation to achieve greatness.
“The insecurity in Nigeria not only competes with actual development items for budgetary funding, it also distracts government from concentrating on strengthening our institutions, which in turn would ensure the attainment of important Sustainable Development Goals.
“In the 2020 budget, N190.65 Billion was allocated to security alone. A total of N212.32 billion has been allocated in the 2021 budget, an increment of 11.13 percent. “Nigeria has one of the highest military budgets in Africa. The remote causes of insecurity must therefore be identified and tackled headlong if we are to succeed in our bid to achieve national growth, cohesion, and development.
“Good governance, appropriate leadership is the panacea to ending security challenges in Nigeria.“Every country has its challenges, but one of Nigeria’s biggest problems seems to be insecurity.”Besides, he said: “Insecurity becomes a drain on state and national development if not managed properly and as such calls for all hands to be on deck from the Federal and State Governments to the security agencies and citizens to solve this problem as a united nation.”
Open grazing is no more in vogue
On the open grazing law, Tambuwal said that the law is no more in vogue. He said: “I condemned and addressed this sometimes last year when I went to commission a project in Abia State, saying, open grazing should be discarded as it is no more in vogue.
We need to reorientate ourselves and live in modem realities.”
On decentralization of the police, he said: “After reviewing extant constitutional provisions, it is clear that the main coercive forces of the nation are controlled by the Federal Government, ranging from Arms and Ammunition to Defence, to the Police, to the Armed Forces and other earlier named security agencies.
“The state governments are a fully autonomous tier of government complete with Executive, Legislative and judicial powers. They have primary jurisdiction for the lives and property of all citizens within their domain. Apart from the limited authority granted by the Constitution to the Governor on issues of Public Order and Public Security, the plenitude of most of the powers lie in the hands of the Federal Government.
“This state of affairs has made it difficult to detect and control crime, criminality, banditry, kidnapping, terrorism and armed robbery in various States. The state governments are sometimes hamstrung in dealing decisively and timeously on security matters.
“Lives and property can be better and more effectively secured by people closer to the grassroots; hence, the clamour for some state policing or constitutional decentralisation of police powers.
“There is a near consensus on this across the country. But the form it should take and the details have not been properly interrogated. Some advocate for federal police, and a State police working side by side, with clearly delineated and defined responsibilities.