The candidates of the Alliance for Democracy, Independent Democrats (ID), Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party and Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance were on Thursday divided over the adoption of state police as part of the restructuring of the country.
The candidates, namely Agboola Olaniyi, Tosin Ajibade, Afe Babatunde, and Temitope Adebayo respectively, were at opposing points as they answered questions at the first segment of the Ekiti Governorship debate held at Damlek Event Hall in Ado Ekiti.
The debate was put together by a television stattion, TVC, in collaboration with a civic group, Enough is Enough (EiE), to allow the candidates explain their programmes to voters.
Mr Olaniyi said there was no need for state police in dealing with thorny security problems in the state. He said the nature of the Nigerian political situation forbids the establishment of state police.
“Instead we will adopt community policing, where such would be involved in information and intelligence gathering for effective curbing of criminality in the state,” he said.
He also said there would be need to strengthen the judiciary so that justice and adequate penalties would be meted out to those who breach the peace in the state.
“What we are experiencing about herdsmen/farmers clashes is outright criminality and we should deal with it as such,” added Mr Olaniyi. “When we come into office, we will ensure that we adopt modern methods of animal husbandry, we will persuade Ekiti people to embrace cattle ranching.”
Also speaking on the subject, Mr Ajibade (ID) said there was no need for state police because politicians would abuse it. Instead, he said providing jobs for the youth of the state would naturally stem the tide of violent crimes in the state.
However, the duo, Messrs Afe and Adebayo, canvassed state police to fully take charge of security in the state.
Mr Adebayo said he would be promoting restructuring to ensure that there was state police and would ensure that the issue of herdsmen were tackled during his tenure.
He also said funds meant for security votes would be channeled to the actual provision of security in the state.
Mr Afe, on his part, said creating an expansive farm settlements for the growing of food was key to providing about 100,000 jobs for the citizens, saying his government would achieve in the first year of coming into office.
The candidates also promised to fund education by cutting excesses and increasing internally generated revenue.