… Backs calls for state police

 

Abiodun OBA

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has commended the initiative behind the formation of the Association of Ex-Local Government Chairmen in Nigeria.

Chief Obasanjo gave the commendation when the leadership of the group paid him a courtesy visit at his penthouse in Abeokuta, Ogun State Capital.

He said the development clearly showed that some local chairmen in the country were better than even the top elected leaders

The former President further called for state police following the incessant security threat in Nigeria, arguing that it remains a better option than community policing.

“Our situation in Nigeria concern everyone, particularly the case of terrorism,” said the former president.

“The case has gotten over the issue of community police. It is now state police. It is from that state police that we can now be talking about community police.”

Mr Obasanjo also spoke on the need to strengthen the traditional system and the local government administration. He recalled the Murtala/Obasanjo administration initiated the third tier of government to work truly as a local government, having their own executive, judiciary and legislature.

“They were working, and they were very visible, building and managing roads, looking into education, health, local administration, agriculture, but they were all gone,” Mr Obasanjo recalled.

The former president said the former chairmen’s experience in local government administration was enough to aspire for higher posts, stressing that some of them have the competence, ability and integrity to get to those posts.

The visitors presented Mr Obasanjo with a letter of a life patron. He assured that he would look into their request, assuring that he would be available on request for their needs at all times.

Mr Ashipa had earlier told Mr Obasanjo why they came together in all the 774 local governments in the country. He said they are convinced they can also contribute to the economy and political developments of the country.

“And realising your position as father of local government in Nigeria, we need you to actualize our goals, hence this all important visit. And to come and say happy 85th birthday celebration.”

The pioneer national chairman of the association, Albert Asipa; the Ogun State chapter chairman, Shoyemi Coker; the BOT chairperson, Chinwe Monu-Olarewaju; and the traditional ruler of Odogbolu, Toye Mojeed Alatise, were among those present.

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