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QuickRead: Tinubu and governors consider establishment of state police. Four other stories we tracked and why they matter



President Bola Tinubu and governors of the 36 states last week resolved to look at the establishment of state police in the country.

The same week, the Labour Party was hit by another crisis following a claim by the party’s national treasurer on the misappropriation of N3.5 billion realized during the 2023 general election under the watch of the national chairman, Julius Abure.

These and three other stories we tracked dominated public discourse in Nigeria during the week.

1. Tinubu and governors consider establishment of state police

On February 15, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, told journalists that President Tinubu and governors of the 36 states are considering the establishment of state police in the country.

Idris stated this at the end of an emergency meeting summoned by the President at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said: “But now, there is also a discussion around the issue of state police. The federal government and 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 still has to be done in that direction. But what the federal government and state governments are agreeing to the necessity of having state police.”

Why it matters

The good thing about the announcement is that it may be an indication of the present administration’s readiness to find a genuine solution to the country’s security challenges.

However, this may not be a smooth sail as the new approach to the country’s security challenges is closely related to the unfinished conversation around restructuring of the country which demands an honest dialogue between and among its various entities.

Such an arrangement will not only redefine the workings of the perceived faulty structures but also relieve the burden on the overstretched federal police in favour of a state policing system that can quickly detect and uproot any emerging crime before it grows.

Will this approach eventually sail through? Only time will tell.

2. Labour Party’s latest crisis

The LP National Treasurer, Oluchi Opara, on February 12 asked the party’s national chairman to account for N3.5 billion generated during last year’s election.

He also accused Abure of going into an alliance with the Edo State government ahead of the September 21 election in the state.

The LP national leadership had since dismissed the allegations and suspended the treasurer for six months.

Opara, who addressed journalists at the media briefing in Abuja, said: “With great reluctance and deep concern, I am compelled to publicly address the media regarding the egregious financial mismanagement and corruption that have plagued our beloved party under the leadership of Mr. Julius Abure, the current National Chairman.

“As national treasurer, I am constrained to come before you and the public today because the internal mechanisms of our party have failed woefully to bring Mr. Abure to account for his brazen abuse of office and misappropriation of party funds.”

Why it matters

The latest crisis suggests that the party has been unable to manage its moderate success in the 2023 general election.

The new allegations of corruption and anti-party activities among party leaders do not bode well for a party aiming to achieve greater success in future elections.

This development may have further confirmed the opinion of LP as a party built on a shaky foundation.

3. Salihu Lukman knocks APC over unfulfilled promises

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Salihu Lukman, on February 11 berated the party for failing to fulfill the campaign promises it made to Nigerians before the 2023 general elections.

In a statement titled: “Heartbreaking Reflections,” Lukman urged President Bola Tinubu to sit up and reevaluate some of the policy decisions he has taken in the last 10 months which have only brought untold hardship on Nigerians.

He wrote: “Almost every action of the administration of President Asiwaju Tinubu is reduced to political convenience, often with hardly any clear logic other than exercising the power to make decisions, which cannot be substantiated with references to reasons.

“As a result, conditions of life are daily crashing. Being a loyal member of the APC and supporter of President Asiwaju Tinubu, it is very difficult to reconcile today’s reality with all the campaign promises made.”

Why it matters

Lukman strikes the right cord in his identification of the challenges facing Nigerians under the current administration.

Indeed, Lukman speaks to the growing distress and tension in the country, occasioned largely by a lack of visible attempts by the government to address the hardship among Nigerians.

The APC unless the current administration quickly puts its acts together and finds solutions to the myriad of challenges, including the rising costs of living, the party may be threading the same dangerous path that led to the downfall of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.

How the party and its government will address the anger occasioned by the current economic hardship and prevent it from snowballing into social unrest in the coming days remains to be seen.

READ ALSO: QuickRead: Rivers Assembly rejects Gov Fubara’s appointments. Four other stories we tracked and why they matter.

4. Reps push for return of Nigeria to parliamentary system

invasion of Cross River community by bandits from Cameroon is an act of war, Reps cry out to Tinubu

At least 60 members of the House of Representatives have initiated moves to return Nigeria to a parliamentary system by 2031.

The spokesperson for the group, Abdulsamad Dasuki, stated this at a news conference at the National Assembly complex on February 14 in Abuja.

The lawmaker said: “Our founders, in their wisdom and a political atmosphere devoid of compulsion, considered the interests of their native peoples, and their desire to live together led them to adopt the parliamentary system of government.

“They considered a country where truth and justice reign, where no man is oppressed, and where all citizens live in peace and plenty, and adopted the parliamentary system of government.”

Why it matters

The lawmakers’ move shows the country has badly fared under the presidential system of government with excess powers concentrated at the centre in the last 25 years.

Indeed the current situation in Nigeria has assumed a national emergency that requires all manner of solutions to heal the wounds occasioned by bad governance and its associated problems and put the country back on track.

5. Falana demands reports on FAAC allocation to states

A human rights lawyer and activist, Femi Falana (SAN), on February 14 tasked the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), to henceforth, publish details of monthly allocations to states and the 774 local councils.

Falana made the charge in a Channels Television programme, Politics Today.

“We are demanding that every month that the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation is publishing what goes to every tier of government.

“That was the culture in the past. At a stage, we were told the government was going to be run transparently.”

Why it matters

Falana may have spoken the mind of Nigerians on the regular reports on the allocations to the states and local councils to check the excesses of the governors who have been severally accused in the past of turning their states into a private estate while their subjects groan in abject poverty.

Such reports will convince Nigerians of the equitable disbursement of funds, including the proceeds from the removal of oil subsidy to the federating units.

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