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Obasanjo canvasses state police to address insecurity

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has made a case for state police, rather than community policing to tackle the growing insecurity in the country.

In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr Kehinde Akinyemi, the former leader was said to have made his position known to the leadership of the National Association of Ex-Local Government Chairmen in Nigeria who paid him a courtesy visit in Abeokuta on Wednesday.

Obasanjo spoke on the need to strengthen the traditional system and the local government administration.

He said: “Our situation in Nigeria concerns everyone, particularly, the case of terrorism. The case has gotten over the issue of community police. It is now state police. It is from that state police that we can now be talking about community police.

“I prepared during the popular Murtala/Obasanjo administration, because I believe that there is need to enable that tier of government to work truly as a local government. They have their own Executive, Judiciary and Legislature.

“They were working and they were very visible, building and managing roads, looking into education, health, local administration, agriculture, but they are all gone”.

The former President, who was presented with a letter of a Life Patron, assured the group that he would look into their request, noting that he would be available on request for their needs.

Obasanjo, who commended those behind the formation of the body, said the development clearly showed that some Local Government chairmen in the country were better than the top elected leaders.

The delegation included the group’s National Chairman, Chief Albert Asipa; the Ogun State chapter Chairman, Chief Shoyemi Coker; and the traditional ruler of Odogbolu, His Royal Highness, Oba Toye Mojeed Alatise, who was former chairman of Ijebu Ode Local Government Area of Ogun State.

Earlier, Ashipa told the former President why they decided to come together in all the 774 Local Government Areas in the country, saying, “We can also contribute to the economy and political developments of the country.

“And realising your position as father of local government in Nigeria, we need you to actualise our goals, hence this all-important visit. And to come and say happy 85th birthday celebrations”.

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