In the wake of serial attacks, abduction of students by some bandits in the country, a front line trade unionist has advised state governors to deepen community policing in their respective states instead of promoting what he called unhelpful “diversionary diatribes among themselves and against the Federal government”.
Comrade Aremu who is also a Member of National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru Jos spoke at the weekend in Kaduna on the sidelines of Special Fidahu ( Prayers) for two late Second Republic notable politicians; the Governor of Lagos state, Alhaji Lateef Jakande and former Kano Member of Representatives, Dr Junaidu Muhammed hosted by him, comrades and friends.
Paying tributes to the late politicians, Comrade Aremu observed that the times and lives of the two Second Republic politicians indicated that Nigeria was never short of selfless and patriotic leaders who he said ought to have been celebrated and acknowledged better while alive. “ All posthumous accolades are fine, but they come to naught and even political hypocrisy if the current Governors and legislators cannot lead like Jakande in securing lives and properties, selflessness, disinterestedness, provisioning of mass housing and education for the poor, advocacy for a United and inclusive Nigeria like Dr Jainadu” . He identified the “pervasive security threats” in the country as manifestations of “alienation between the governors and the led” tasking the Governors to reconnect with the people through “massive agricultural and industrial revolutions” , job creation and all inclusive community policing.
“ Good or bad governance is Local. Governors organize with all their energies and resources, campaigned to win offices, they must then stop “agonizing” in the wake of security challenges. They must organize their respective communities to pro actively prevent the unacceptable carnage we are witnessing in both rural and urban centers of the state” he said. According to him, most victims of the current violent crimes are “the poorest of the poor,” adding that state governors “must not inadvertently fuel class war against the poor through indifference to “poor- on- poor” violence being presented as ethnic clashes in some communities ” .
Nothing that the state governors took oath on assumption of office to secure lives and property and ensure public welfare, Comrade Aremu backs the call by a prominent cleric and former Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Onaiyekan for a “Pan-Nigerian all inclusive” approach to the security challenges adding that “non- performing elected leaders should quit falling which they should be impeached”.
Aremu who served two terms as Vice President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) noted that avoidable security breaches in forms of mass kidnappings of students and citizens amount to “unacceptable dereliction” of state duties. He advised the Governors against “discordant voices and diatribes” which he said emboldened criminals adding that what was needed was “mass dialogue” with the citizens through ‘community renaissance” to isolate criminals. Comrade Aremu hailed Mr Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector General of Police for “his passion for Community Policing adding that “Community policing involving all stakeholders is a practical way of democratizing policing in a democratic system”. He called for mass support for Nigeria Police with a view of reforming the force for better security service delivery. “Nigeria police has come of age. Established in 1820, NPF is the largest enduring internal security institution in Africa. In a democracy, NPF is the key driver of internal security”. Observing that Security is inherently a public good, Comrade Aremu called for “community renaissance” “There is the need for community renaissance with all working together to find innovative ways to combat common enemies: banditry, insurgency, kidnappings and all forms of violent crimes.”
While hailing Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the seventh and first African Director General of World Trade Organization (WTO), he said the best support for first female head of the UN agency “is a peaceful and secured Africa that will promote trade facilitation, job creation and poverty eradication”.
Comrade Aremu who frowned at “media generous coverage of violent crimes” advised the media to “magnify success cases where peace is sustained and minimize the dramatized celebration of cases of banditry and kidnappings in some states in the knowledge that glorified crime cases only motivate addictive crimes. At worse gory stories undermine collective response to curtain crimes”. According to him fake news should be seen “as an act of banditry”.