Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Saturday, restated his call for state police as an important component of the efforts to solve the crippling insecurity problems militating against Nigeria and threatening its corporate existence.
The Vee Pee made the call at a virtual international conference organised by a United States-based media organisation, Global Patriot Newspapers (GPNews), aimed at galvanising the spirit of patriotism among Nigerians.
At the conference, organised by GPNews in collaboration with the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), New Jersey Chapter, with support from the Nigerian consulate in New York, Osinbajo renewed his advocay for the decentralization of the Nigeria Police Force.
“We must accept that there is a need for greater decentralization of the police force,” he declared at the opening session of the International Conference on Patriotism, Security, Governance and National Development. “I have been a frequent advocate of state policing and I believe this certainly must be the way we must go. The National Assembly is in a position to consider some of the proposals that have gone to them for the purposes of devolving more powers to the states for security purposes and for addressing the security challenges.”
On the steps taken to address the perennial crisis between farmers and herders, Prof. Osinbajo, according to a press statement issued by his office on Saturday, said that “the Federal and State governments are committed to the implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP), as developed by consensus of governors under the auspices of the National Economic Council (NEC).”
Explaining the initiative, the Vice President said “the NLTP is a comprehensive strategy for addressing farmer/herder conflict essentially by encouraging interested states to establish cattle ranches.”
“The crucial point here,” the Vice President continued, “is that no community or State is compelled in any shape or form to give land for ranching. Ranching is essentially a business. NLTP is not a land grab in any way. Every state is completely responsible for its land. The Federal Government cannot go to any state and take any land.
“Already 22 States have indicated interest and pilots, with the support of the Netherlands government, are ongoing in 4 states of Adamawa, Nasarawa, Plateau and Gombe. If we are able to execute the NLPT, we will be able to see an end to the farmer-herder conflict because the goal is to make livestock breeders more sedentary and derive more financial benefits.”
Prof. Osinbajo also spoke on the need for citizens to unite in building a better society.
“The task of nation-building,” he declared, “is exerting and may even appear messy as the process continues, especially in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation like Nigeria. It challenges all values, patience and tolerance of citizens, it may even be costly. It is a challenge thrown to everyone, to build, not to destroy, to add to, not to take away.”
Other participants at the conference were Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Prof. Tijjani Bande; President of NIDO, Dr Kazeem Bello; Femi Falana, SAN, among others.