The pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has warned insecurity may consume Nigeria if not urgently curbed.
The group, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Jare Ajayi, said the state of insecurity in the country makes Nigeria appear like it is in a state of war.
It lambasted National Assembly for recently voting against state police but urged governors and state lawmakers to put pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to sanction the creation of state police in the country.
It noted that the latest reports show that many farmers in Ondo, Ekiti, Ogun, Imo, Abia, Benue and the Zamfara states have been kidnapped or killed.
The group added many communities in Kaduna, Sokoto, Borno, Niger, and Nasarawa have been sacked by gun-wielding terrorists.
The statement reads, “The Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum while commiserating with his Zamfara State counterpart in Gusau, lamented that over 100,000 people have been killed by terrorists in his state in recent times. He was in Zamfara State to condole with Governor Bello Matawalle over the devastations wreaked by terrorists on lives and properties in the northwestern state last week.
“Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai early this week was close to tears when reeling out the statistics of thousands of lives of people that have been killed, maimed and turned into widows and orphans by terrorists in his state. Many poultry and crop farms in Oyo and Ogun States have been closed down as a result of constant attacks by kidnappers and armed herders.
“Even Katsina State, the birthplace of President Muhammadu Buhari, is not spared as reports coming from that state kept posting near-daily acts of insurgency and terrorism that lead to loss of lives and properties as testified to by the State
“Governor Bello Masari. A few hours after President Buhari arrived Daura, Katsina State on December 14, 2021, armed gunmen invaded a government-owned secondary school in Kankara and abducted about 600 students.”
The statement continues: “In the efforts to tame the monster, a lot of security personnel have lost their lives while many were wounded.
“The spate of security and safety infractions makes it look like Nigeria is in the state of war. We, therefore, challenge those at the helms of affairs to be more sincere in finding effective solutions to the problem.
“The immediate strategies to end the scourge are to quickly allow states and local government councils to have their police force, strengthen the existing security forces and motivate security personnel adequately. Government should also create an atmosphere for youths in the country to be productively engaged, respect the rule of law including the fundamental rights of the Nigerian citizens as well as stop treating terrorists and bandits with kid gloves.
“To make the suggested strategy enduring and effective, Afenifere calls for the amendment of section 214 of the 1999 Constitution to enable states and local government councils to have their police forces.
“This is a big slap on the spirit of federalism. It must be changed to vest more power on states and local government councils especially on such issues as security, natural resources, education, health and transport, etc.”