*Says states’ll not be forced to provide land for colonies
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said on Thursday that the federal government cannot realistically provide security from the centre in view of the country’s estimated 180 million population and the inability to meet United Nations’ standard of one policeman to 400 persons ratio.
Speaking at the opening session of the two-day summit on National Security organised by the National Assembly, Osinbajo stressed the need for the creation of state police amid increasing security challenges in the country.
He said state policing system is the way to go because having a centralised system as is currently practised cannot effectively secure the nation, adding that for the federal government to continue to provide security from the centre, it would need a lot of resources to increase the number of personnel and properly fund all security agencies and their operations.
“But for a country of our size to meet the one police man to 400 persons the UN required ratio, we will need to nearly triple our current police force, far more funding of the Police, far more funding of the military and other security agencies is required.
“Thirdly, we cannot realistically police a country like Nigeria centrally from Abuja, State Police and other community policing methods are clearly the way to go,” he said to the applause of participants,” he said.
The Vice President also spoke on the killings in Benue State and other parts of the country, saying it’s unfair to say that President Muhammadu Buhari was ignoring the killings by herdsmen because he is a Fulani man.
He said no other issue preoccupies the mind of the President as much as the killings in the country, adding that stakeholders should not allow the conflict between herdsmen and farmers assume ethnic and religious dimensions.
He also stressed the need for Nigerians to embrace dialogue as a means of resolving their differences instead of resorting to self-help and killings of innocent people.
“To my knowledge, human beings have not developed other ways of resolving conflicts except from dialogue. There cannot be lasting peace without dialogue and there can never been too much dialogue,” he said.
On government’s decision to provide ranching and colonies for herdsmen, Osinbajo assured that the federal government “cannot dictate to the states what to do with their land according to the Land use Act.
“Apart from the states that presented grazing reserves, so far about 13 states have agreed to allocate 5,000 hectares of land for ranching or livestock production. We must emphasis that in arriving at any of those decisions in the states, the state, federal and local governments have to set together and work out solutions that will benefit everyone.
“This cannot be done clearly by fiat, people have to simply work together to ensure that that there is adequate consultations and that everybody is taken on board. Let me reiterate that on no account will any land be ceased or forcefully taken to create any of the ranches or grazing areas.
“All insinuation to that effect should be disregarded, no one is given land to anyone as it has been falsely alleged in some quarters. Instead, it is our view that states that are willing and have set aside land or those who have designated grazing areas should cooperate even with willing investors into commercially viable government supported ranches or livestock production centres,” he said.