Arakunrin Akeredolu, SAN who is also the Chairman of Western Governor’s Forum, further noted that the central Police command was ineffective to keep Nigerians safe.
Gov. Akeredolu said this while delivering the Keynote Address at the meeting of Attorney-Generals of the 36 States in Lagos. He said State policing and restructuring of the country, were imperative.
“The current state of insecurity in the country, leaves us with no room for equivocation on the right of the States to maintain law and order through the establishment of State Police”, he said.
The Governor said: “We will carry arms very soon. Oga Malami. There is no other way”.
Gov. Akeredolu further challenged States to restructure the country by, among others, setting up their Anti-Graft Agencies or Anti-Corruption Commission.
He argued that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, was a creation of and for the Federal Government of Nigeria only, and not for the Federation of 36 States.
“If you have not done it (set up State Anti-Graft Agencies) in your State, go and do it.
Let the EFCC run after those who have infractions with the Federal Government, not States.
We now use the EFCC to start pursuing even Governors, and you want to stay as if you are holier than everyone.
You now use Federal Government agencies, to oppress people in the States.
“So, go and promulgate your laws, establish your anti-graft agencies. We have done ours in Ondo State.
Or else EFCC will continue to pursue you. Is it only in States that they steal? I’m not saying you should be stealing”, Akeredolu said.
Responding, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN accused Governors of greed by coveting local government revenue.
He questioned the Governors’ moral ground for their agitation for restructuring and State Police, in the face of this “compromise”.
The AGF wondered whether “a State Governor that colonised the resources of a local government, that renders a local government inefficient and ineffective in the performance of its duties, security and otherwise, have a moral standing to now clamour and crave for restructuring against the backdrop of the inherent abuse associated with this conduct, with particular regard to the corporate existence of a State?
“A further question is whether a State Governor that undermines the democratic process, that refuses to inaugurate members of the State House of Assembly that were elected, equally stands a moral ground to clamour for restructuring against the backdrop of the fact that he does not believe in allowing the system to effectively and efficiently operate?”
He also advised the AGs of respective States, to perish the idea of establishing a body known as the ‘Body of Attorneys-General of the Federation’.
Malami said the name runs contrary to Section 150(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which established his office as the only AGF.