The pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, on Wednesday challenged elders and leaders in the South-East to step in, in order to stop the killings in the region.
The group in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Jare Ajayi, said the announcement by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, that the federal government may declare a state of emergency in Anambra State is “a self-indictment.”
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According to him, the planned declaration is more of a verdict of failure on the part of the federal government to provide security rather than the failure of the Anambra State Government.
The statement said, “The situation in the South East, including Anambra, however, poses a big challenge to the people of the area to be determined in calling those perpetrating the killings and economic sabotage to order.
“The elders in the area owe themselves and their people that responsibility. If they did this, there would be no excuse for the federal government to declare the state of emergency.”
Besides, Afenifere noted that the AGF’s threat of emergency declaration amounted to hypocrisy because no state of emergency had been announced in states like Borno, Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Benue, Plateau and Niger “Where even sections of local governments are under the control of bandits as announced by the state governor.”
Afenifere reiterated that due to the current situation, the state governments could be administratively allowed to establish state police forces while a quick amendment is made to the relevant sections of the constitution to that effect.
“At the moment, state governments fund police commands in their states just as police commissioners in the states are members of the states’ security councils.
“Yet, the governor has no power to give an order to the state police commissioner as the latter only takes orders from the Inspector General of Police or his lieutenants – and not the governor!
“Thus, if anyone is to be blamed for security lapses in various parts of the country, it should be the federal government.
“Admittedly, the states ought to devise means to ensure the security of their people. But with the present structure of security institutions in the country, all the state governments can do would be supplementary to whatever the federal government does,” Ajayi added.