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Falana: Government has proved that it cannot secure lives

Falana: Government has proved that it cannot secure lives
April 16
12:10 2019
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Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, says government has repeatedly proven that it cannot secure the lives and property of its citizens.

Falana, who spoke when he featured on Sunrise Daily, a programme on Channels Television, blamed politicians for the spate of killings and kidnappings across the country.

He said it has become a norm for insecurity to increase after elections, alleging that thugs abandoned by politicians have taken to criminal activities to cater for themselves.

“The increase in the wave of killings and kidnappings and banditry in recent times has to do with the just concluded elections. The thugs that were armed by politicians were not disarmed,” Falana said.

“They were very busy during the elections attacking people and killing political opponents now they are back in business. Nothing was done to disarm them after the elections. They have been dumped by politicians and they have to look for means of survival of livelihood and that is why we are witnessing this increase.

“What we are witnessing is a reign of impunity. It is a regular phenomenon. Once an election has just been concluded, you have phenomenal increase in violence all over the country.

“The Nigerian state has collapsed. The Nigerian state has proven over and over again incapable to guarantee the security of lives and property.”

Falana said the problem is not with the architecture of security but the social dimension of crime control, citing unemployment and underemployment as examples.

“The same federal government that said there shall be only one police force has created another one. What stop state government then? I was listening to the governor of Lagos yesterday complaining. Told the acting Inspector General of Police that there are 33,000 police personnel guiding 24 million people and I ask myself why are we in this mess?” he asked.

“The least a governor can do is not to complain. If you are not going to allow me have a state police to take care of my people, you will either give me 100,000 police personnel to guide Lagos state. The constitution allows me to defend myself. Section 33 said I have a right to life.”

The lawyer said governors can approach the inspector-general of police to demand for gun licence for group providing security.

“I can go to the Inspector General of the Police or apply to the president that I want to have a license to bear arms (as an individual). If the government finds that am responsible enough, I will be given the license,” he said.

“Now what stops a state governor from going to Abuja to apply for 10,000 licenses for 10,000 young men and women to protect everybody in Lagos. Why should it be reserved for the rich or the privileges in the society? So we have to be very innovative in the business of securing the people of the country.”

He also accused the national assembly of trivialising the issues of insecurity, saying while the constitution allows for just one police force, the national assembly and the presidency can constitute an agency and empower it to bear arms.

He asked governors to quit complaining and head to the president to demand a police force to guide their states if they would not be allowed state police.

Falana also spoke about the influence governors yield in police council, stating how they can utilise it.

“Paragraph L of part one to the third schedule, provides that there shall be a Nigerian police council which shall be constituted as follows; the president shall be the chairman of the body, the inspector general of police, the chairman of police service commission and each of the 36 state governors shall be members,” he said.

“So you are talking of a 39-member Nigerian police council. What are the functions of that body? To organize, administer and supervise the Nigerian police force. In other words, police powers in Nigeria are to be jointly shared by the president and the governors. But that body never meets.”

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