Chris Steven, Abuja
Femi Falana, lawyer and human rights activists has decried the Federal Government’s slow response to the security challenges in the country which he says is tentative and superficial.
According to him, the Federal Government, instead of equipping the police has allowed the armed forces to usurp the police powers.
He told The PUNCH that the government “cannot police 170 million people with 350,000 ill-equipped and ill-trained police personnel”.
“With respect, the response of the Federal Government to security challenge has been rather slow, tentative and superficial. You cannot police 170 million people with 350,000 ill-equipped and ill-trained police personnel. Instead of equipping the police, the Federal Government has allowed the Nigerian Armed Forces to usurp police powers”, he said.
“I have just confirmed that a state government is being made to cough up N100m for a single military operation in one of the states in the South-West.
“The Nigerian army has announced that the operation Python Dance was designed to combat kidnapping and armed robbery and that the operation Crocodile Smile II will be staged in the South-West to confront the menace of Badoo (cult group) in Ikorodu (Lagos State). Meanwhile, the Lagos State Police Command, under the leadership of the current Commissioner of Police, Mr. Imohini Edgal, has effectively destroyed the criminal gang. Another issue of insecurity pertains to the regular violent clashes between farmers and armed herdsmen.
“Frankly speaking, it does not require rocket science to deal with the menace. Botswana is the largest producer of meat in Africa. That country of 1.6 million people has a cattle population of 2.8 million. But with ranches and abattoirs established by the government, Botswana has eliminated the clashes between farmers and herdsmen”.
Speaking on the issue of restructuring, he said the ruling the All Progressives Congress (APC) promised to restructure the country during the electioneering and only for John Oyegun, National Chairman of the party to claim that APC would not restructure the country.
“During the last electioneering, the All Progressives Congress promised to restructure the country. It was therefore surprising when the APC Chairman, Chief John Oyegun, claimed that the APC would not restructure the country. In fact, one of the leading ideologues of the party, Mr. Nasir el-Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna State, described those who are campaigning for restructuring as opportunists.
“To stop the public deceit, I had to refer the APC leadership to the party’s manifesto where it is expressly stated that the party would initiate action to amend the nation’s constitution with a view to devolving powers, duties and responsibilities to state and local governments, in order to entrench federalism and the federal spirit. It was at that juncture that the APC was compelled to set up a committee on restructuring” he said.
“Today, we celebrate and remember the services of a man who has contributed his quota beyond words, in ensuring that all through his service as a legal practitioner, Judge and Head of the Judiciary, the process of Justice delivery does not fall foul of the law.
“He also ensured that a profession he has lived for all his life, is not in any way made an object of public ridicule in the face of growing corruption and loss of societal values.
“To achieve this, personal conviction, integrity, honour, discipline, professionalism and the fear of god, must have gone into the hours, days, weeks, months and years of service in the Bar and on the Bench” he said .