By Sadiq Umar – The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), on Monday threw their weight behind the clamour for the creation of state police to address the country’s rising insecurity challenges.
Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, while speaking at the end of a two-day Security Summit organised by the Senate, said the governors have endorsed the position of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo that ‘state police is the way to go.
Nigerians, particularly the progressive groups, have in recent past canvassed for the creation of state police as a measure to combat internal security challenges, with many faulting the current federal policing system that is unitary in nature.
Opponents of state police have expressed worry that governors could abuse it, why some questioned the capacity of states to fund it.
Mr. Yari said: “Today we have reiterated the position of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. And the position of the security summit we held in August, that there is a need for the state police; we can say it is the only answer.”
The governor noted that internal security was supposed to be handled and managed by the police, and that the police of today were inadequate.
“There are about 4 million people in Zamfara and we have fewer than 5000 policemen.
“We in governance agree that we can find a way through which we can fine tune the issue of state police,” he said.
He however added that, “It is not all the states that are supposed to have the state police, those that could, should be able to have it.
“It is something we cannot take off at the same time. We were created differently,” he said.
He reiterated the need for government to rise up to the security challenges facing the nation in the last 10 years, adding that the primary responsibility of any government is to ensure that lives and properties of citizens are protected.
“Many challenges of Nigerians for the past ten years ranging from Boko Haram, cattle rustlers, armed banditry, and militancy in the Niger Delta are dwindling the Nigerian economy, and threatening the unity of the nation,” Mr. Yari said.