By Kingsley Chukwuka, Nosa Akenzua, Isaac Job
State governors on Thursday added a voice to calls for the establishment of state police as cases of killings and kidnappings for ransom continued to escalate across the country.
Making the latest call for the decentralisation of the police were governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Rising from a meeting after a condolence visit to the Plateau State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, the governors said the present centralised policing system has failed the nation.
Speaking in his capacity as the chairman of PDP Governors Forum, the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, urged the federal government to empower state governors to set up state police.
Governor Mohammed noted that the ratio of police to citizens was very low, thereby affecting capacity to effectively secure citizens across the country.
The Bauchi governor had led five of his colleagues on a visit to commiserate with the Plateau governor over the recent attacks and killings in many communities across the state.
He insisted that all the 36 state governors know the security peculiarities of their states as such they were in the best position to adopt effective methods of policing their respective states.
Governor Mohammed said, “So, I have always been advocating for this; there is a need for the decentralisation of the security apparatus so that we can deliver good governance by having state police.
“Again, it will allow us to engage the structure of the security agencies, train our youths and make sure the rules of engagement are not abused and there are no extrajudicial killings.
”We will work in tandem with the established best global practices rather than being forced to be doing vigilante and even at that, we are working with the security agencies, but we are being accused.
We can replicate and build on what is happening in Zamfara and the Amotekun in the South-West where citizens are sleeping with their eyes closed.”
The PDP governors charged the federal government to look into the issues in Plateau and address them holistically, stressing, “We should be allowed to have state police”.
On his part, Governor Mutfwang said the killings on the Plateau have become a national problem that should not be allowed to linger “beyond this point.”
Five other PDP governors that accompanied the Bauchi governor on the visit were Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Peter Mbah (Enugu), Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa), Ademola Adeleke (Osun), Godwin Obaseki (Edo).
The governors announced N100 million donation to survivors of the Plateau attacks.
The spate of insecurity has assumed frightening dimensions in many parts of the country, as rampaging criminals are now turning on the police and other security personnel.
Some yet to be apprehended gunmen on Thursday kidnapped three policemen in Delta State while they were responding to a distress call.
It was gathered that the kidnapped cops were members of a six-man team of Mobile policemen drafted to the Ughelli-Patani Road.
They were reported to have been kidnapped at Ohoror, along the East-West Road in the Ughelli North local government area of the state.
The kidnappers reportedly made away with the policemen’s AK 47 service rifles and ammunition as they were being marched into the bush.
The Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, (PPRO) DSP Bright Edafe confirmed the incident.
Also, the police authorities on Thursday declared a manhunt for hoodlums who beheaded a police Inspector in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.
The Akwa Ibom State police command confirmed that the Inspector, who was simply identified as Osang, was attacked in his house Wednesday nigh by the hoodlums numbering about 10.
The brutal killing of the police Inspector was the third within two weeks in Uyo where a woman was similarly beheaded along Banking Layout.
The police also confirmed the killing of another woman at Ekpri Nsukara, Uyo, with her genital parts removed and body her corpse dumped at a roadside.
Confirming the incidents, the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Odiko Macdon described the situation as unfortunate.
Macdon said, “We have received that information and it is an unfortunate situation. Already, an investigation is ongoing and we are committed to ridding the streets of criminal elements. But we are not deterred and we are committed to ensuring that, criminal minded persons account for their actions.”
It would be recalled that gunmen had on Monday, ambushed and killed two traditional rulers in Ekiti State and dumped their corpses by the roadside.
The victims, the Onimojo of Imojo-Ekiti, Oba Olatunde Olusola and the Elesun of Esun-Ekiti, Oba David Ogunsakin had run into an ambush on their homeward journey from where they had gone to attend a meeting at a different location within the state.
Kidnapping within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has continued unabated with the abduction on Thursday of a Director with the Federal Housing Authority, Mr Aondo Ver.
The Punch reports that Ver was abducted from his home, some 200 metres away from a military base in Pambara Extension, in the Bwari area council. Ver was still being held by his abductors as of the time of filing this report.
I another instance, bandits who kidnapped seven persons, including a pregnant woman, have requested for N290 million ransom to free their captives.
The victims were abducted from Kuduru, a community in Niger State sharing a common border with the Bwari area council in the FCT.
The abductors, who also requested for food, medication and clothing items, have threatened to kill their captives if the N290 million ransom was not paid in real time.