Economic Council approves committee on de-centralisation of police

Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja

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The National Economic Council, NEC, has approved the setting up of a committee to work towards the de-centralisation of the operations of the Nigerian police.

This is to deal with the security situation in Nigeria and to have better access to information.

National Security Adviser Major-General Babagana Monguno (Retired), stated this while briefing State House correspondents after the Thursday’s meeting of the NEC presided over by the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

Have representatives
Monguno said the committee, to be headed by the Inspector-General of Police, would have representatives from each of the geo-political zones of the Nigerian federation.

He said the committee would make the handling of the security situation in the country “easier rather than a centralised and cumbersome approach.”

The NSA said he briefed the Council on behalf of the security agencies, both in operations and intelligence, giving “a general overview of the security situation in the country, the current situation, the trends and also the challenges that we are confronted with.” 

 “These threats are increasingly asymmetrical in nature and I stressed upon the need the deal with these problems in a more collective manner. 

Society approach
“It is true that it is the responsibility of the security agencies to deal with these threats, but the complexities of insecurity in the 21st Century are such that you need a whole of government and a whole of society approach in dealing with these issues.

“I emphasised to the council the need for the state to collaborate with and support the federal government in dealing with each individual threat—and these threats differ from one zone to another—and find a way of linking with security agencies so that we can find a lasting solution. 

“These things cannot be overcome within a short period that is the hard truth.  What we have decided to do is to work on certain methods.”

General Monguno also said that the resolutions and recommendations of the 2017 Security Summit was reviewed after which state governors agreed to work with the security agencies on issues that were raised, while the recommendations of the summit would also be revisited.

He said the federal government was  looking at other issues in dealing with problems coming from outside the shores of the country. 

“These problems are being collated by the security agencies and a team would set up under the supervision of the ONSA to deal with these threats,” he said.

Improvement
Also speaking at the briefing, the Deputy Governor of Benue State, Benson Abounu, said NEC “noted that there is now an improvement on the handling the insecurity situations in the country.”

Abounu said the deployment of “Operation Whirl Stroke” in Benue State “has put a near end to the killings that was very rampant in the area.”

“We now enjoy relative peace in the place, and of course, a point was made in the council that the military personal in the area should not be withdrawn in a hurry because we believe that their being there will bring the needed stability that will enable the internally displaced persons to return to their various localities,” he said.

He said that the NSA reported that troops have been deployed to the various insecurity flashpoints and that a lot of improvement was being recorded.

“A new dimension has been brought in, there is a lot of plans that are going on, regarding the handling of all of the security problems, especially in the Niger Delta where pipeline vandalism is very high,” he said.

Tackling the security problems
Mr. Abounu also said that the governors commended President Buhari’s administration for tackling the security problems in the country, especially with the improvement in recent times.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, said the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun briefed the NEC on Nigeria’s special funds.

According to him, the balance in the Excess Crude Account was $2.2billion; the balance in Stabilization was N21.5billion while balance in the Natural Balance Fund was N43.4 billion.

 

Lateefah Ibrahim