President Muhammadu Buhari has pushed state governors to look inward to find answers to security concerns in their states, particularly those caused by herder-farmer confrontations.
During an interview with Arise Television that aired on Thursday, the president issued the challenge.
In the Southwestern region of the country, where traditional rulers and Local Government Councils were involved in guaranteeing peaceful coexistence in the villages, he advocated for the revival of grassroots security panels.
“Two South West Governors came to me to say cattle rearers are ruining farmland in their states,” the president said.
“I asked them what happened to the grassroots’ security panels where Traditional Rulers to Local Governments who meet regularly to identify the root of their problems and identify crooks within their environment and apprehend the criminals.”
“Who destroyed this system? Go back and fix it, give your people sense of belongings.”
“I don’t like it when people campaign to become Governors and people trusted them with their votes and after winning, they can’t perform, they’re trying to push responsibilities to others. ……..we have three tiers of Government, Federal, State and Local.’’
On devolution of powers, Buhari expressed displeasure with situations in which politicians were purposefully destroying the Local Government System.
He also raised concern about the quality of those elected to local government positions.
“Devolution of powers, you have to define it. Well actually the local government system has been killed.
“The federal, state and local government if they agree to flow properly we won’t have all these problems.
“But the problem is the local government has been virtually killed and this is not good for this country, because those who became the local government chairmen have been compromised.
“If your local government is entitled to receive 300 million and later you are only given 100 million and the Chairman will keep quiet…..is that how we will continue???”
The president again brushed aside claims that his administration has made unbalanced appointments.
He reaffirmed that, regardless of geopolitical origins, his administration would continue to select and choose acceptable and qualified personnel to lead military and paramilitary institutions.
“You’re saying someone who had gone through military and police training all his life should not be appointed to lead the military or police department he works with just because we must balance appointments? What are you saying?
“The system didn’t restrict anyone from joining the military or the police, and if you decided not to join, we will not force you but you too will not force us to bring someone who is not qualified in training and experience when it comes to leadership of these institutions just because we want to balance some appointments……..”
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