The combination of a good commissioner of police, intelligent director of State Security Service and an assertive governor with vision are all the ingredients for a balanced, peaceful state. These officials, apart from the governor ,whose position is political, must have a foundational pedigree, personality and disciplined disposition in the line of duty. Such officers are expected to have enough experience and stamina to cope with the attendant pressures of the office.
l was in Ekiti State recently to carefully monitor the activities of all the security agencies in the state, the police, Department of State Security (DSS), the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the state vigilante group. Of more importance to me were the police and the DSS. Both are majorly federal government agencies, except that the police is more visible than the DSS, whose activities are usually coded and covert in nature. The days l spent in Ekiti made it possible for me to have a good feel of the “controversial” state being governed by Mr. Peter Ayodele Fayose.
Good enough, the roads are clean but poverty is staring the people in the face, and even the state government that ought to have established mini industries to absorb thes growing army of unemployed youths left the industrialisation of the state to embark on what many considered “executive frivolity,” a grandstanding ego-trip project, the construction of about mile-long fly-over in the city centre. It was a project the governor started almost as soon as he began his second term in office. An over-ambitious construction project that is likened to dressing a kid with a king’s gown. Crime that would have submerged the state has been ably controlled by the police commissioner and his team. The hungry youths in the state, though educated have no jobs and even government workers are being owed six months’ salary areas. At a burial, l saw the governor giving the hungry crowd money, as if that was enough to assuage their hunger. The state government has not introduced a single policy that would provide jobs for youths. Many of the National Youth Service Corps members have been retracing their steps back as they are being rejected by the few companies in the sate. Unfortunately, security personnel transferred to Ekiti are daily rejecting their postings. When young graduates are denied jobs to engage them, the alternative is for them to become willing tools in the hands of the devil. All over the world, sensible governments are articulating ways to fully engage their youths so that they would not be ready recruits for crime. The truth is that, once they turn a bad leaf, it takes the intelligence of both the DSS and the police to fish them out from the society for prosecution. It is disturbing to note that no visible attempt has so far been made by this government in opening doors for our jobless youths to be engaged. No wonder the great human flight out of our shores for greener pastures and involvement in criminalities. It is, therefore, necessary to commend the two major security agencies and their leaders, who have been collaborating without any significant input from the governor. l gathered that there has been no security meeting with the governor since this year; one, therefore, wonders why the governor is unfriendly towards the security agencies. No wonder, he blocked security agents who had gone to invite a preacher for questioning. The peaceful atmosphere in the state is a result of the security strategies enunciated by Mr. lnalegwu and his personnel. Their presence is noticeable in every nook and cranny of the state as you drive round. Night life is almost zero but the presence of the state vigilante group and the police helps to scare away criminals despite the near absence of streetlights. lnalegwu, who has always been an operational police officer, has evidently helped to bring down the crime rate in Ekiti State. The serene, secure atmosphere in Ekiti speaks volumes. The four arrowheads of crime in Nigeria today: robbery, kidnapping, car snatching and Fulani herdsmen’s killings are almost at zero level in Ekiti. lnalegwu, like his predecessor, Taiwo Lakanu, are both operational officers. It has been observed that operational officers are better off when posted to man states or zonal commands. Same with the office of the Inspector-General of Police. Whenever pure administrative officers are appointed as IGP, such officers flop and are not able to effectively cope with the herculean task of the office they occupy. Every operational officer is knowledgeable in crime-fighting as their major assignment is to strategise and fight criminals. Ekiti, like many other states in the country, has been fortunate with the caliber of police commissioners posted to them. These days, the force has more educated, young, agile police officers who have been exposed to mobile force training in senior levels of the force. This is why members of the public are surprised when they meet young police commissioners in charge of state police commands. That is the evolving face of the institution. Security is no more for the aged but for young people in their 30s and 40s, men and women with very sound, articulate minds.
To me, Ekiti is a state waiting to explode with criminality in any future election, if nothing positive is done to curb the disturbing trend of political thuggery, as evidenced in the numerous thugs l found loitering everywhere in Ado-Ekiti, by usefully engaging these youths. The governor, who claimed through an inscription on a billboard that described him as a “radical professor of politics” should know what goes through the mind of a radical. Could this be why Ekiti is endowed wit radical political thugs, radical thieves, radical youths, radical students and radical Fulani herdsmen?