Protect your People, stop blaming FG for insecurity – Falana tells Governors
Human rights lawyer and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana on Thursday challenged state governors to show more responsibility and responsiveness in protecting the people they govern rather than shifting blames to the Federal government for the spate of insecurity in the country.
Falana stated this in Lagos while featuring on Sunrise Daily of Channels television as monitored by our correspondent.
According to him, it is high time Governors discharged their duties as the Chief security officers of their respective states to address insecurity having collected huge amount of money as security votes.
He said: “There is so much attention paid to Abuja, whereas the governors are the chief security officers of their states.
“Security votes running to Billions of Naira are earmarked for security of our people. In every state, there is a state security council headed by the Governors while heads of all security agencies are members.
“The governors are there to give instructions and provide adequate funds to security of the people but every time we talk about security, we talk about Abuja.
“No! (it is untrue that there is nothing the state Governors can do to address insecurity). Unlike the Armed Forces, headed by the president as commander chief of the armed forces, the president is not the commander chief of the police force.
“There is the Nigeria Police Council. The President is only the chairman, the 36 state governors are members and of course the inspector general of police and the chairman of the police council.
“In that body of 39 members, 36 of them are still governors but the body never meets. I have a case in court as regards that. Thou shall meet regularly to discuss security situations on a regular basis.
“Based on that case in court, the national assembly included to the Nigeria police ACT 2020 that this body shall meet not less than twice a year and can also meet in emergency situation and that law was enacted in 2020, but body has never met.
“The governors are required to requisition the meetings of that body on a regular basis because it is a constitutional body established in pursuant to section 153 of the Constitution.
“Since 1999, I have never seen or heard of a governor give an instruction that there is some disturbance in ikorodu Lagos for instance by Badoo boys or the one million boys, causing problem and governor asks the commissioner of police to go there and the Commissioner of police says no. At least in Lagos that I know.
“Even in the case of Governor Ngige and the then Commissioner of police in 2006 that the police Commissioner in connivance of the presidential Villa under president obasanjo. They instigated the police Commissioner not to carry out the instructions of the Governor.
“The governor went to court and the supreme Court (in the case of AG Anambra state and AG of the federation) ruled that the Governor of a state is in charge of security of that state and the Commissioner of police shall comply with all the directives of the governor.”