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BREAKING: FG, governors agree to establish state police

• As Tinubu directs NSA, DSS DG, IGP to go after food hoarders

The federal government and governors of the 36 states of the federation have agreed to set up state police as the nation struggles to curtail insecurity.

The agreement was reached during an emergency meeting between President Bola Tinubu and the governors, which took place at the presidential villa in Abuja on Thursday.

Vice President Kashim Shettima was also in attendance at the meeting called at the instance of the president.

The minister of information and national orientation, Mohammed Idris, disclosed the development to correspondents at a briefing after the meeting, joined by Governors Caleb Mutfwang (Plateau), Ubah Sani (Kaduna), and Sheriff Oborevwori (Delta).

While noting that both the federal and state governments are mulling the idea, Mohammed said a series of meetings are in the pipeline to determine the modalities for the setting up of the state police, noting therefore that nothing concrete has yet been determined.

He said, “Now, there is also a discussion around the issue of state police. The federal government and the state governments are mulling the possibility of setting up state police. ⁣

⁣“Of course, this is still going to be further discussed. A lot of work has to be done in that direction. Both the federal government and the state governments agree on the necessity of having state police; now this is a significant shift. But as I said, more work needs to be done in that direction.”

According to the minister, the meeting observed that the security situation in the country has significantly improved, pointing out that farmers have returned to farmlands that were hitherto inaccessible due to insecurity in places such as Borno, Jigawa, and Plateau states, among others.

He said that the meeting discussed the need to improve the numerical strength of forest rangers and train them to keep the farms and borders safe.

The minister asserted that the president and the governors thanked the security agencies for the work they are doing, noting: “Some of them even pay the supreme price with their lives to ensure that Nigerians have a secure environment. They have thanked Mr. President for all that he’s doing. And they have also asked him to do more so that, at the end of the day, we will have a completely secured Nigeria.”

Apart from security, Thursday’s meeting also dwelt on the food situation in the country, with the minister disclosing that a committee had been set up to synthesise all that had been discussed at the meeting.

He said the president has directed the national security adviser, the director general of the State Department of State Services, and the inspector general of police to coordinate with governors to end the hoarding of food commodities in the country.

This is because he expressed concern that people are trying to punish Nigerians and profit from their misery.

The government’s spokesman also signalled that there will be no import of food commodities, contrary to the position earlier taken by the federal government.

He explained that the government wants to sustain the gains already made in local food production in the belief that the country can feed itself and also be a net exporter.

Idris stated: “First, the national security adviser, the director general of state services, and the inspector general of police have been directed to coordinate with the state governors to look at the issue of those hoarding commodities. ⁣

At this point, the nation requires food to be brought out to the people so that we can control prices and put food on the table of most Nigerians, Other commodity traders are busy hoarding these commodities so that Nigerians will suffer or they will make more money as a result.

⁣“So, the governors and Mr President have taken this decision that security agencies will collaborate with the state governors to ensure that this ends. ⁣

⁣“Number two, a decision has also been taken that, in the interest of our country, there will be no need for food importation at this point. Nigeria has the potential to feed itself and even be a net exporter of food items to other countries. And we do not also want to reverse some of the progress we have seen in terms of food production in this country. ⁣

⁣“What we’re seeing now is just a temporary difficulty that will soon go away. Therefore, the solution to it is continuous investment in agriculture so that food can be made available to all Nigerians. ⁣

⁣“Of course, you know that Mr. President declared an emergency in agriculture many months ago. Therefore, part of the measures that he has taken is to ensure that more investments are made in this sector for the benefit of our people. ⁣

⁣“The governors have also agreed to join hands with Mr. President to deepen their own investment in the agricultural sector so that more food will be made available to Nigerians. Of course, this investment is not just in crop production; it is also in livestock development and management.

⁣“All these are to ensure that food is available in the area of security, Mr President and the state governors have all agreed that at this point, we are seeing significant improvement in the security situation around the country, of course. ⁣

⁣“This is not to say that the security situation has been solved completely. But we have seen significant improvement. In Borno, for example, areas where farmers have not been able to cultivate as a result of security, those farmers have now returned to their farms. It is also the same thing in Jigawa and many parts of the country.

“The governors, including the governor of Plateau State, have also attested to the fact that despite all the challenges that we’re having, there appears to be an improvement in security in these areas. ⁣

⁣“Of course, as I said, the situation has not been completely solved. But we are seeing a positive movement towards a secure Nigeria.”

Idris explained that President Tinubu called the meeting to inform the state governors on “what is happening and what the federal government is doing and to also hear from the state governors their input about issues of development in this country. “

⁣He added, “A lot of issues were discussed about the security situation in the country. The apparent food issue that the media has also been reporting about and some other measures that will help in improving the state of our nation

⁣“Now, the first point is that the governors and Mr President have agreed to set up a committee to deepen the conversation that has happened at the just-concluded meeting. Of course, you know that it is impossible to complete most of the issues that were raised at the meeting so this is going to be a continuous one. ⁣

⁣“Secondly, Mr President and the governors have agreed that these kinds of meetings will continue in the interest of our nation. ⁣

⁣“It is important that all the time, the federal government and the state governors, who are leaders at the subnational level, continue to engage and interact collectively so that issues of national importance will continue to be addressed, and we don’t leave room for any speculation or for people who may seize the opportunity to say things that are not in the interest of our country. “

The information minister observed that a lot of meetings will have to happen between the federal government and the subnationals to see to the modalities of achieving what was discussed at the meeting.

He said Tinubu urged the state governors to join hands with the federal government to provide more for people, especially the teeming youth population., adding: “There is going to be a joint programme between the state governments and the federal government to ensure that our teeming youth population is gainfully employed. So that we will reduce to the barest minimum the issue of unemployment in the country. ⁣

At the end of it all, the 36 state governors and Mr President are all on one page, irrespective of political differences, to ensure that Nigeria remains peaceful.

Nigeria remains united. Nigeria remains prosperous going forward. And this kind of conversation, like I said, will continue to deepen.

Engagements between the federal government and the state governors will continue.”


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