Penultimate week, a statement credited to Governor Kayode Fayemi to the effect that his government does not – like is traditionally done elsewhere – take security vote came like a thunderbolt.
We do not know whether to applaud or chastise him for that most uninspiring statement. However, this, if indeed true only explains away the reasons for the present security challenges Ekiti faces at the present time.
And talking of the security challenges – they are legion – free reign for daring bank robbers, free terrain for kidnappers and now the big one – a land that is gradually becoming the abode of the most ‘unpatriotic and non-enterprising’ police force in Nigeria. We return to that in a moment.
It is not for us to believe or disbelieve the governor; what’s paramount is that this government lives up to its duty of securing lives and properties of inhabitants of Ekiti with a solid rock plan. However, if Kayode Fayemi has such plan, it is quite effectively disguised at the moment. There are definitely gaping holes where things should be happening. Banks are shutting branches, investors are getting scared off and now the police are withdrawing. Ekiti deserves better.
Fingers are pointing to government’s lack of support for the Nigerian Police in Ekiti as we have seen in other states. Pundits spoke of a ‘greedy’ government that has not complimentarily supported the police force by way of equipment and other facilities necessary to buoy up morale thereby pining the present minimal efforts of the force to tackle insecurity in the state as its own way of ‘getting back’ at the government.
Again, we may not believe this but all indications are pointing to this direction. It is not enough for the governor to say security vote is not being utilized where there is provision for such. Rather the expectation of Ekiti people is that such allocation should be effectively utilized for the betterment of the citizenry and to secure lives and properties.
We do not think the Fayemi administration is dong Ekiti any good either by not taking security votes or diverting same to something else. Security is foremost. We observe the present non challant attitude of the Nigerian police force in Ekiti to crime prevention and crime fighting with grave concern. What we’re seeing id the attitude of a spited organisation that could no longer hide its disdain for an ‘uncooperative, selfish’ state government.
Take Ikere Ekiti – a town whose inhabitants the Nigerian Police Force has declared ‘persona non-granta’ as a case study. The force simply withdrew its men and services from the town about 2 weeks now. It cowardly cited recent attack on its installations during the recently botched EndSARS protect in the town for its actions.
It’s a carefully masked excuse.
As we speak, we may not know how safe the inhabitants of Ikere Ekiti and environs are actually. The poor hapless citizens of the town are basically on their own and may be at the mercy of robbers and charlatans even now.
The Nigerian state via the Nigeria Police Force has simply failed the people of the town by recklessly abandoning its sworn duty to protect and secure lives and properties in the town. It’s a coup d’état against the community. Fayemi as chief security officer should not be mute on this.
What’s the position of the state government?
We note that it isn’t only in Ikere Ekiti that protesters attacked police posts and personnel. How right is it then for the police whose withdrawn personnel still draw wages from government – to withdraw its very essential services to the tax paying public in Ekiti? Kindly note that there’s no other state except Ekiti where this sort of reckless abandonment of the people by the Nigerian Police Force has happened.
The NPF in leaving exhibited a most profound bad faith which left it’s traps uncovered. Its men mischievously and carelessly announced its withdrawal with the obvious intention of drawing the attention of criminals and hoodlums to the free reign they now seems to enjoy in that environ at the moment. The force simply escalated the vulnerability of Ikere Ekiti inhabitants by the manner of its criminal abdication of its civic responsibility.
It is a deadly lottery. Ekiti does not deserve this.
But don’t be deceived. It’s a clever shot aimed at the Fayemi government and Mr Governor knows it.
Before Ikere there was the robbery incident in Iyin Ekiti. There was no resistance from the police. The force simply raised its hands and calmly issued a statement that its men lacked capacity to match the miscreants. The government kept mute.
Same uncaring responses had greeted the agonies and pains of the people across Ekiti land in recent times. We did not bargain for this.
The increasingly incompetent response of the state government to insecurity in Ekiti is worrying to the citizens of this state and could lead to the public losing faith in government’s ability to secure them and their environments
We say shame to the Nigerian Police force for this cowardly and unpatriotic act and indeed a bigger shame to the Fayemi administration for having swallowed this hook line and sinker.
The illegal withdrawal of police protection in Ikere Ekiti is a slap on the face of Ekiti tax paying public and we had expected the government to condemn this in unequivocal terms
Unfortunately we have not heard or seen any official response in the direction of concern for Ikere Ekiti people just as we note the current lackadaisical attitude it has put up towards the prevailing high insecurity in the state.
No responsible government would fold its arms in the face of severe threats to the lives and limbs of its citizens. We cannot over emphasize this. The bulk stops on Governor Fayemi’s desk as the chief security officer of Ekiti State. Mr Governor may not have control over the police force, but we believe there are rooms to work together with the force, support them like other state governments and bring a better outcome for our people.
This chess game in which Ekiti people have become pawns must stop.
The criminal recklessness with which the Police abdicated its statutory duty and responsibility to the citizens of Ikere Ekiti only shows the depth of decay we have sunk to in Ekiti. If there’s any vision for securing lives and properties in Ekiti under this government, now is the time for Governor Kayode Fayemi to act it.
It’s simply not enough to say the government isn’t interested in security vote.
It’s a lame statement.
Aba Joo’nu wrote on behalf of Ekiti Good Governance Institute (EGGI)