Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has called for immediate reforms where states in the federation will be seen as federating units and not as departments of the Federal Government.
He said that Nigeria will only experience peace and development when the several lies affecting her functionality are dismantled.
Governor Wike, while declaring the position in his acceptance speech after receiving the award as the Sun Governor of the Year, 2016 in Lagos at the weekend, said that efforts must be targeted at inclusive governance, which will cater for all sections of the country.
Wike said: “There are too many lies in Nigeria’s structural arrangement that we must dismantle, including the over-concentration of absolute power and resources at the centre in order to guarantee sustainable peace, good governance and development.
“For heaven’s sake, we must come to terms with the fact that states are federating units and not departments of the Federal Government. State governors are elected by their people, and therefore superior in every respect to appointed officers of the Federal Government.
“It is a constitutional fiction to refer to governors as chief security officers. But, even at that, nobody can claim to be more concerned about insecurity in our states than the governors,” he said.
According to the governor, despite the challenges posed by the imbalances, he has worked deliberately to support security agencies and improve security in Rivers State.
“In Rivers State, our administration treats security as number one priority. We have invested millions of naira to provide support for the security agencies, including patrol vehicles, communication and surveillance equipment, gun boats and other logistics.
“Even as I speak, we have procured six Armoured Personnel Carriers to be delivered to the police force. You must also be aware of the two armoured helicopters partly funded by the previous administration, which we brought into the country and voluntarily offered to the Nigerian Air Force to use in providing aerial security surveillance for the State.
“Unfortunately, our commitments and support for the security agencies, especially the Police and the DSS appear fruitless, given the prevailing disenchantments over their poor operations and relationship with the government and our people.
“Worse still, the politicisation of security agencies and services in Rivers State, which started with the frequent and impulsive replacement of Police and DSS bosses, is becoming entrenched and even taken to irrational levels.”
On his award, Governor Wike explained that he will remain committed to the delivery of quality projects and programmes across the state for the good of the people.
Source – The Authority