Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has lambasted Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde; and his Ondo State counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, for visiting the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) in a bid to find lasting solution to the herdsmen crisis rocking the two South-West states.
Falana spoke on a PUNCH Online interview programme, The Roundtable on Friday.
He said the two governors are chief security officers of their respective states as well as members of the Nigeria Police Council and should make demands for security reinforcements from the council order than seeking same from the president.
Recall that after the meetings at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday, Akeredolu did not speak with State House correspondents while Makinde said he seized the opportunity of the meeting to call for the establishment of more Police Mobile Force squadrons in the state.
But the senior advocate said the president is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces and not of the Nigeria Police Force, adding that the governors should have approached the police council.
He said, “These are regular meetings and I have said to the face of the governors, you have no business going to Abuja to beg the president, ‘Please, post more policemen to my state’. No, you are a member of the Nigeria Police Council, that is the business of the police council –to administer, organise and supervise the police force.
“The president is not the commander-in-chief of the Nigeria Police Force, no. Police powers are to be jointly shared by the president, by the federal and the state governments but we’ve left the president to control the Nigeria Police Force since 1999, that has to stop.
“It is not the prerogative of the president to decide when to post more policemen to Oyo State. No. So, our governors have to, as chief security officers of their states, take control because in every state, you have a state security council headed by the governor. The commissioner of police is a member, the director of state security services is a member. If there is a military institution in that state, the commander is a member.
“The body is to meet regularly to ensure that there is security of lives in every state. So, if a governor has a problem, that has to be taken to the Nigeria Police Council but that council never meets. This is worsening the insecurity situation in the country. That is a body that should be meeting on a monthly basis to ensure that we protect every Nigerian and every visitor to Nigeria.”
“That is what should be. I have a case in court to compel the presidency to (convene this meeting). We must organise this country,” Falana said.