The National Economic Council (NEC) a body comprising operatives of the federal government and governments of the 36 states of the federation, Thursday ruled out the establishment of regional security outfits saying that it runs contrary to provisions of the 1999 Nigeria Constitution as amended.
Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state, while fielding questions from State House Correspondents after the 102nd NEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, noted, however, the states are at liberty to make their security arrangements.
This is just as the Council said it is now set for the implementation of the controversial National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) Programme, otherwise known as “RUGA”
Umahi who recognised security as “issue that affects the length and breadth of the country”, added that “we expect the issue should be on the front burner” .
He disclosed that the states had continued to brainstorm with the security agencies, among themselves and the federal government on this issue of security in various places in the country.
The clarification is coming against the backdrop of agitation for regional security outfits including the recent establishment of the “ Amotekun” in the southwest, “Shege Ka Fasa” in the North, “Ogbu N’igwe” in the South East, and similar moves in the North Central.
“When people continue to mention regional security, as chairman South East governors forum, I said there will be nothing like regional security but there can be something like regional cooperation, state cooperation.”
“Because, security is state-based. I watched the Lagos State governor said Amotekun law is state-based because when you talk of regional security, you are talking of something higher than state police.
“You are looking at one central command, one law, one office, and one command and there can’t be anything like that with the present constitution and every governor swore to uphold the tenets of the constitution.
“I think the governors are doing quite a lot, we have in our various states private security outfit be it in herdsmen, kidnappings and so on and so forth. I think the governors are rising to the challenges of insecurity in the country,” he said.
Umahi also revealed that the NEC is now set for the implementation of the controversial National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) Programme.
The decision to commence implementation is the direct result of an extensive process involving engagements with stakeholders and a detailed analysis of opinions.
“After the initial decisions were made by the state governors, the focus of the initiative shifted to the implementation.
He noted that the outline of the established engagement process includes: “Letter of intent and counterpart funding, state livestock transformation office, and community engagements”.
He disclosed that NEC had completed a preliminary analysis of survey results, which includes data capturing analysis, such as analysis of enumerated data of five gazetted grazing reserves now in Adamawa state.
“We also have two gazetted reserves data obtained in Plateau and in Nasarawa, we have four gazetted reserves, so data is being collected and analysed.”
“We had prayers to Council, one of which was that Council should consider and approve that the three states should submit their detailed plans for the 80% funding of the total cost by the federal government, as stipulated in the National Livestock Transformation Plan and of course the states that are participating will have to pay 20% counterpart funding.
“The second prayer was that these states should commit 5% of funding to support the work of the secretariat, in line with the National Livestock Transformation Plan’s policy.
“Council approved the two prayers” he disclosed.