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State police, LG autonomy — recommendations at FG’s town-hall meeting

State police, LG autonomy — recommendations at FG’s town-hall meeting
April 21
12:10 2021

Participants at the town-hall meeting on national security organised by the federal government has recommended that state police should be supported by the national assembly as well as the house of assembly in states.

Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, said the participants made the recommendation based on the consensus that state police will give governors better leverage in the handling of security issues within their domains.

On April 8, the federal government, through the ministry of information, convened the town-hall meeting to address the nation’s security challenges and the effect on national unity and cohesion.

The meeting drew participants from the academia, private sector and civil society.

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The minister also said participants recommended decentralisation and reformation of the judiciary through a constitutional amendment.

He said participants also agreed that autonomy to local governments should be granted so they could have the means to secure and govern their areas.

“Another resolution is that every level of government must ensure that every child of school age has compulsory and free primary education,” Mohammed said.

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“One of the discussants took us back to 1973 under Gen. Yakubu Gowon regime when there was a national retreat; at that national retreat, it was resolved to come up with just one national pledge.

“They pledged to ensure that Nigerians will not go through any civil war again and at the end of that retreat, the government came up with this single pledge that all children born after the end of civil war must have free and compulsory primary education.

“Another interesting thing that was agreed upon was that under Nigeria’s constitution, Article 15, 3C has provision encouraging Nigerians to intermarry.

“Christians are encouraged to marry Muslims, Itsekiri should marry Hausa, Yoruba should marry Igbo, when you have that kind of intermarriage, it becomes more difficult to break the country.

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“It was also agreed that the way we practise our animal husbandry is not sustainable and that we must establish ranches, grazing reserves with modern amenities like schools, veterinary clinics, and watering holes.”

The minister added that traditional rulers were recommended to be given their age-long roles in governance.

Mohammed said the recommendations from the meeting will be presented to the National Economic Council (NEC) on Thursday.

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