Current Nigeria Police structure worsens insecurity in the north, Governor Jang says

Jonah Jang, Plateau state governor

The governor said the current structure was ineffective.

The Plateau State Governor has blamed the current unitary police structure in Nigeria for the insecurity currently prevailing in Plateau and several other states in Northern Nigeria.

Governor Jonah Jang, who recently proclaimed himself Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum despite losing the election, stated this during the presentation of his mid-term report of his second- office for his second term.

Several people have been killed in ethno-religious crisis in various parts of Plateau in recent years. Mr. Jang said the crisis had persisted because he, as the chief security of the state, has no control over any security apparatus.

“Can you imagine, as a governor I cannot command a fly to act during crisis until orders are given from Abuja,” he said.

According to him, if the governors of the 36 states had control over security personnel, the acts of terrorism occurring in several states in the North would be a thing of the past. The governor was, however, short of calling for state police, a major demand of opposition parties including the Action Congress of Nigeria.

The Plateau Governor, a member of Nigeria’s ruling Peoples Democratic Party, explained that the situation where only the Chief of Defense Staff and the Inspector General of Police have the overall power to give orders to security agents worsens the crisis in northern states.

On the persistence workers’ strike in the state, Mr. Jang, who has been in office for six years, said his administration inherited the strikes from his predecessor, Joshua Dariye. He stated that civil servants who are still complaining and are embarking on industrial actions are ungrateful.

“I begged civil servants that were already on strike to suspend their actions till I was sworn-in, but they refused,” he said.

Mr. Jang disclosed that his administration in 2007 had to depend on loans to pay the salaries of civil servants who were left unpaid by the previous administration. He added that his administration, since then, has been paying salaries as at when due; saying that some persons, claiming to be unionists, poison the minds of civil servants against his administration and worsen issues that could be resolved “within hours.”

Several labour unions in Plateau including local government workers and polytechnic lecturers have been on strike at different times for various reasons, sometimes for up to six months.

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