Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria’s former president, has called for state police, noting that it has become necessary in view of the country’s growing security challenges.
The former president spoke when the leadership of the National Association of Ex-local government chairmen in Nigeria paid him a courtesy visit in Abeokuta on Wednesday.
A statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, hinted the visit was led by the pioneer National chairman, Hon. Albert Asipa; the Ogun State chapter Chairman, Rt. Hon. Shoyemi Coker; Hon. Chinwe Monu-Olarewaju (Delta State) (Chairman BOT) and the traditional ruler of Odogbolu, His Royal Highness, Oba (Dr) Toye Mojeed Alatise; Gbegande of Ososa, a former chairman of Ijebu Ode local government area of Ogun State, among others.
Obasanjo, who commended the initiative behind the formation of the body, said that the development clearly showed that some local chairmen in the country were better than even the top elected leaders.
The former President while responding to one of the speakers, Chinwe Monu-Olarewaju’s submission on creation of community police to curb the wave of insecurity, quipped that the idea needed to be changed.
“Our situation in Nigeria concerns everyone, particularly, the case of terrorism. The case has gotten over the issue of community police. It is now State police. It is from that State Police that we can now be talking about community police,” he said.
He also spoke on the need to strengthen the traditional system and the local government administration, “which I prepared during the popular Murtala/Obasanjo administration, because I believe that there is need to enable that tier of government to work truly as a local government. They have their own executive, judiciary and legislature.
“They were working and they were very visible, building and managing roads, looking into education, health, local administration, agriculture, but they were all gone,” Obasanjo said.
He said that the experience the former chairmen had in local government administration was enough to aspire for higher posts, stressing that some of them have the competence, ability and integrity to get to these posts.
Obasanjo, who was presented with a letter of a life patron, assured that he would look into their request, assuring further that he would be available on request for their needs at all times.
Ashipa had earlier told the former President why they decided to come together in all the 774 local governments in the country, declaring, “we can also contribute to the economy and political developments of the country.
“And realising your position as father of local government in Nigeria, we need you to actualize our goals, hence this all important visit. And to come and say happy 85th birthday celebrations. ”
Others present were Hon. Abayomi Tella (National Organising Secretary), Hon. Garba Fatai Adeniyi (National Auditor), Hon. Ayantoye Adekunle (State Chairman, Osun State), Hon Tajudeen Oke (State Chairman, Oyo State), Hon. Akinwunmi Sowore (State Chairman, Ondo State), Hon Ogidi Akindele (State Chairman, Ekiti State) and Hon Nicholas Akinbiola (Ondo State).
They also include, Hon. Adeniyi Fasanmi (National Asst Fin Secretary), Hon Isikilu Makinde (Ogun State), Hon Gafar Balogun (Ogun State), Hon. Yayaya Olodeoku (Chairman, OGBC) and Hon. Tajudeen Salako (State Secretary, Ogun State