By Simeon OSAJIE
A University Don, Prof. Godwin Aondohemba Vaasen of Edo State University Uzairue has suggested the use of ethnic militia movement as states police force to compliment the efforts of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF).
Prof. Vaasen made the call while delivery lecture titled “Transforming Ethnic Militia Movement to State Police: Towards Combating the Security Challenges in Contemporary to Nigeria”, at the Edo State University Uzairue 9th inaugural lecture series at the Aliko Dangote Auditorium.
A professor of History and International Studies at the university has commended that the police are an indispensable part of our society who have been doing their best to maintain peace and security in Nigeria.
He added that despite their efforts, they (police) are still limited by certain factors in the performance of their duties hence, the call for the use of ethnic militia movement to complement their efforts.
“The positive attributes of these militia movement including their occasioned control of crime and their services as pressure groups for their communities is crucial for the attainment of peace if properly tackled as their use as states police force will go a long way as an antidote to the security challenges in Nigeria”.
Prof. Vaasen, a former lecturer at the Nigerian Police Academy however stated that due to the possibility that some state governments could resorted to the misuse of the state police to perhaps terrorize political opponents, said they should seek legal backing before their establishment while they should be scrutinized and the bad eggs remove before being used as state police force.
He suggested that the establishment of the state police will increase the numerical strength of the police force who grossly inadequate in Nigeria as most of them are involved in other duties other than fighting crime which is their primary responsibility.
According to him, some ethnic militia movement were formed as a result of the rising tide of violent crimes in the country and the seeming inability of the police to control the situation and in response to the widespread increase of crime in different parts of the country, both local community and state governments supported the formation of the vigilante groups to compliment or support the operation of the Nigerian police.
“Since the police seemed to have become ineffective in the tackling of the security challenges especially the fighting of crime, made people to lose confidence in their ability to effectively protect them against criminals,” he stated.
The professor further stated that the Militia groups are very familiar with the terrain of their various environments and may effectively be able to dislodge kidnappers and other criminals who may not be familiar with the environment.
However, Prof. Vaasen recommended that there should be an increased cooperation between members of the judiciary and the police to judiciously fight crime and take crime fighting to the grassroots level.
The police in the performance of their duties go through a lot of risk, so government should encourage them by giving them a better welfare package to boost their morale such as better salary, retirement benefits, other allowances, barracks accommodations and a better working environment.
Earlier in his address, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Emmanuel Aluyor expressed gratitude to the people for attending the university inaugural lecture saying inaugural lecture hold a special place within academic community as they mark the beginning of a new era for both the lecturer and the university.
He said the university as a world-class ambition is dedicated to providing a conducive environment for learning, fostering intellectual growth and nurturing young minds.
“We aim to produce graduates who are not only academically accomplished but also equipped with the skills and knowledge to drive positive charge in society”.
While congratulating the Inaugural lecturer for his well-thought out topic said is of utmost relevance to the current challenges the nation faces as lt highlights the critical need to address security concerns and transform them into opportunities for progress.
The VC reiterated the university’s commitment to support and promote research as the university will continue to provide the necessary resources, infrastructure and encourage scholars to excel in their pursuit of knowledge saying that it is through research and academic pursuit the university strive to transform into a hub of innovation and center of excellence.