The Federal Government has been urged by the governor of Ondo, Rotimi Akeredolu, to address the worsening insecurity in the country.
Akeredolu warned during a Tuesday interview on Channels TV Politics that, if insecurity worsens, 2023 general elections may be endangered.
He also condemned the attack Saturday against his Benue State colleague Governor Samuel Ortom, who asked why Governors were being attacked.
Akeredolu, also the president of the Forum of South-West Governors, said thank God for Governor Ortom’s life while describing the attack as unfortunate.
After the attack on President Buhari in Abuja today Ortom warned that the elections in 2023 would be disturbed if nothing were done to eradicate uncertainty.
Government President Akeredolu also supported Ortom’s comments and said that if banditry reaches a full level, Nigerians should be concerned.
“I think he is right, definitely we cannot conduct election under an insecure environment. So if insecurity is not nipped in the bud, it will escalate and if it escalates, all of us should be worried that as at the time we are getting to 2023, we might have a full-scale banditry and other insecurity in the country,” he said.
“With that, there is nobody that can carry out any election under that atmosphere. What is clear is that he has made a good point that the Federal Government must sit up.
“Something just has to be done now to ensure that this issue of insecurity that is escalating by the day is now nipped in the bud and deescalated as soon as possible.”
Time For State Police
Governor Akeredolu reiterated his previous call for the establishment of state police in response to a slew of security threats ranging from banditry to terrorism, abduction for ransom to cultism, militancy, and secessionist agitations, among others.
He believes that establishing policy structures at regional levels would complement the Nigeria Police Force’s efforts.
The governor being a senior lawyer and ex-President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) however admitted that the outfit is not something that can come to force immediately.
He added, “There must be a swift response to all this level of insecurity. For now, since there is nothing else to do, those of us who believe that there should be multi-level policing and the time has come for us to have state police, it is not something you can force down.
“It is something that will have to go through the National Assembly. It takes some time but that is the goal. But before then, I believe that we can have meetings, set up committees on insecurity. Let it be addressed wholesomely without any bias.”
Terrorism, banditry, militancy, and cultism, among other security threats, have been plaguing Nigeria in various parts of the world.
For more than a decade, the country has been fighting terrorism in the northeast, which has killed 36,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands.
In 2016, the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) split from the jihadist group Boko Haram and has since become Nigeria’s most dangerous threat, assaulting soldiers and bases while murdering and kidnapping passengers at phony checkpoints.
After dislodging soldiers, jihadist fighters burned down a UN humanitarian compound in the town of Dikwa on March 1, killing six civilians.
The jihadist violence in Nigeria has spread to Chad, Cameroon, and Niger, prompting the formation of a regional military coalition to combat the rebels.