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By NBF News
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The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, yesterday, charged the Federal Government to immediately decentralise the nation's policing system to allow for security of lives and property.

The governor, who expressed dismay over the current unitary system amid security challenges in the country, said at the handing over of two patrol vessels to Nigerian Navy to enhance surveillance and security of the waterways, that unitary security system had failed the country.

His words: 'The idea of a decentralised police force is an idea which time has come. We need also to look at the structure of our security, especially the metropolitan and municipal security. Can we continue to pursue a federal and unitary police model for almost 50 years and it is not giving us the required result? Should we really continue or are we really scared to make change?

'If we do the same thing for so long and it failed to give us the result, we must ask ourselves what type of people we are that we are afraid to make a change. 'I think the idea of a decentralised police force run by component federating units in this country is an idea whose time has come. It is no longer a question of if but it is a question of when. And I hope that as we approach the constitution exercise, the when would be answered. The fallacy that the state government cannot run the police but can only fund the police posted into its state is wrong. This is because the prosperity of each state will be the prosperity of the entire country.'

The governor, who commissioned the vessels known as Croq 450 VGT, fitted with gun mounts and multi-ammunition capability for defensive manoeuvres, while technically equipped to see clearly under darkness, including any hidden object, explained that the vessel would help to police the state's waterways and rid it of criminal activities. He noted that security forces in Nigeria had capabilities, adding that what needed to be done was to listen to them when they made suggestions on security matters.

Responding, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Aminu Ikioda thanked the governor for the gesture, stressing that provision of the vessels could not have come at a better time. Speaking through Commander, NNS Beecroft, Commodore Martins Njoku, he said the boats would assist security agencies to make their presence felt along the coastline, adding that they would be used to prevent dumping of waste along the waterways.

Ikioda called on the governor to provide more of the vessels to effectively tackle security challenges on the waterways. The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Umaru Manko, in his address, noted that the task of policing the state had been made easier by the provision of requisite infrastructure by the state government. 'Everything needed by the police to perform effectively is here,' he said, adding that policemen posted to the state had no excuse to fail.