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Friday, April 26, 2013

President Goodluck Jonathan, Time To Revolutionize Public Safety Management

 
President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria and Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State and others at the crash site of the ill fated Dana Air Flight 992 of a McDonnell Douglas MD-83 aircraft that crashed on Sunday, June 3, 2012 on the outskirts of Lagos whilst flying from Abuja to Lagos. Photo Credit: PM News of Nigeria.

Mr. President, it is time to revolutionize the One-size-fits-all approach to public safety Management. As we slowly ride deep into the 21st century and witness the continuously expanding population of our young nation which is now believed to be at least 160 million the One-size-fits-all approach to government becomes more difficult in regards to real protection of lives and property.

There is no doubt that the current federal system of security is improving slowly compared to the past but its functioning has being with great institutional stress and mistrust. Our current federal security systems do not have the full national reach to manage and maintain public order and safety across the nation as evidenced by their unending deadly challenges. 

There is a chronic sense of insecurity that prevails across the nation leaving many citizens with lack of confidence in our approach to law enforcement. It is essential to understand that State based law enforcement systems are in general preventive in nature and more recognizable to the people; a type of security system that could work well in the face of our growing population along with its increase in poverty, public disorder, and crime.

In a young democracy like ours, the presence of federal police is very much needed, and it will still be there for national duties in the areas of countrywide intelligence, immigrations, customs enforcement, postal service, and national security. As we know currently, the Nigeria’s political system at least since 1999 has taking to the American political presidential system. Like the United States Constitution, Nigeria functions as a Republic with a Constitution that provides for Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary divisions. Like America, the Nigerian Constitution allows the government to function at the Federal, State and local level, therefore it makes sense to have a decentralized public security systems in the nation.

There is no doubt, that at the beginning a decentralized form of public system could come with a gross misuse of power by some powers-that-be within and among different States followed by ethnic tensions but with time the new arrangement will adapt itself, and grow in strength and structure.

The nation is already almost half Christian and half Muslim cross the 36 States, as such the people are more likely to adjust easily to familiar or local settings like State law enforcement systems. Also, a decentralized security system will bode well with our Court system which is already at diverse levels; the Federal, State, Magistrate and Customary or Sharia courts; which could fully flow well with a decentralized Prison system that functions along the federal, and state levels. Same thing should happen with the Fire and Road service agencies, and other likes. By this way, we can reduce the burden of the federal government operating correctional facilities across the nation from one isolated position.

 Mr. President let your legacy be marked with a Jonathan-based revolution of our public security system especially when the long standing one-size-fits-all approach to the administration of public safety has not being good for the people in recent times.  

~ By John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D.
 

 

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