A professor of Criminology, Femi Odekunle on Monday blamed the lack of military and police presence in Nasarawa state for the re-occurrence of the clash between the Ombatse Militia and Alago Youths in the state.
He also noted that the “unresolved problems in the state” could be attributed to the cause of the clash.
Odekunle, who was speaking from the Abuja studio of Channels Television during Sunrise Daily programme, said the incidence of the “last weekend must be considered as another instance of a pattern of an unresolved problematic in the state” insisting that “this is not limited to the state. In the last decade we have had vast situations of instances of inter-intra community, inter-religious clashes, so it is not limited to that state”.
He went further to describe the recent clash, which occurred during the weekend, as a result of an “institution that is problematic”.
He then commended the state government for appointing credible non-indigenes of the state into the judicial commission of inquiry to ensure “impartiality in investigating the circumstances and situations and the nitty–gritty of various inter community clashes and killings in the state”.
He accused the federal government of irresponsibility for not showing concern after a dispatch of police officers and operatives of the State Security Service were ambushed and killed.
He expressed disappointment that the federal government, according to him, has not done anything in response to the killing of those security personnel noting that “the same police is reaching para-military orgasm in Rivers state over fully nothing” adding that “yet we have a situation in Nasarawa state where somebody would have expected heavy federal government presence to ensure that territorial integrity and authority of the government and state are actually enforced”.
While noting that security in this country, by the constitution, is the “formal responsibility” of the federal government, he advocated for a full federal government presence in the state to ensure that such killings do not occur again.
He however said “I am not expecting a situation like Odi under Obasanjo or Zaki-Biam under Obasanjo because we should appreciate to respect human right and we should also appreciate the limit of collective punishment”.
He further said those calling for state police are being armed with such situations “whereby you expect the federal government to come in and help you and they are not helping and go to another state where they don’t need military or police presence”.
He expressed worry for the Nigeria Police because “it appears to be its own worst enemy” noting that “the problem of the Nigeria police started when (Sunday) Adewusi, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), at that point in time, actually acted as if he was an NPN (National Party of Nigeria) card carrying member. So when the new government came in, they decimated the police and the police have not recovered from that decimation up till now, in terms of power, in terms of resources”.