The announcement of the portfolio of the Ministry of Interior, assigned to the immediate past governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, elucidated great expectations. Why should this be so? Competence in ministerial office is, after all, based on the ability to master and be on top, very quickly, a complex brief. However the portfolio allotted in this instance, although not in the hideous depiction “juicy”, is nevertheless at the heart of the social contract, binding the government and the people in a democracy. The choice of Aregbesola, a proven, committed reformer and social democrat, was inspired. Aregbesola has not disappointed.
Aregbesola held that Security, Economy and Transparency (SET), are the new narratives that were set to drive the security agenda for the country, and the Ministry of Interior, being the frontline government apparatus in the saddle, is expected to lead the charge. Aregbesola, like an elderly man running on the land of thorns, hit the ground running by championing giant strides, evident by reforms in Nigeria Correctional Service (formerly Nigeria Prisons). The former governor of the state has also proven to be very instrumental in some of the committees he has been appointed, notable of which is The Presidential Task Force on the Control and Management of COVID-19.
In the area of guaranteeing internal security, which is one of the primary functions of the Ministry of Interior, Aregbesola has introduced several reforms. He has fostered relationship between the ministry and licensed private security practitioners, with a view to providing effective and efficient security and safety services to Nigerians. The success being recorded on the partial closure of land borders ordered by the President to ensure the growth of the country’s indigenous industries and overall development of the economy demonstrates bold imprints of the forthrightness of the Minister of Interior.
In less than a year of his leadership, the Federal Government has also purchased 96 fire-fighting vehicles, which have been distributed to the states. In addition, the Federal Government has established six additional zonal offices to boost fire-fighting service delivery across the country.
In the crucial area of capacity building for staffers, the Minister has also not left any stone unturned in improving the knowledge base of all staff working under his ministry. He is taking full advantage of all programmes available at the centre to improve staff capacity support to all its agencies, with a view to promoting and realizing the Presidential mandate of providing internal security and citizenship integrity for all Nigerians and foreigners alike.
He has no doubt proven to traducers that the successes recorded while at the helms of affairs in Osun are no fluke; and that with about three years to the expiration of the tenure of Mr. President, the former governor of the State of Osun will bring in the expected civilizing zeal to humanize and modernize our internal security mechanism towards achieving a more compassionate society.