Tuesday, April 23, 2024

State police overdue, critical to addressing Nigeria’s insecurity, says CSO

Mr Peter said local intelligence was critical to solving crimes and criminality in the country.

• February 18, 2024
CLEEN Foundation
CLEEN Foundation

A civil society organisation, Cleen Foundation, has said the establishment of state police is critical to addressing the increasing level of insecurity in the country.

The Executive Director of the foundation, Gad Peter, said this during an interview on Sunday in Abuja.

He said the current debate on the establishment of state police was long overdue because of the increasing level of insecurity in the country.

According to him, the Federal Government has no capacity to run a federal system of policing in a large country like Nigeria.

“You need a lot of manpower and resources to be able to police Nigeria effectively which I believe the Federal Government does not have. In several states of the country, the governors or the government of the state usually support the police financially and otherwise to about 70 or 80 per cent.

“I think it is time to start considering having a state police since the state governments are taking greater responsibility in the running of the police,” he said.

He said local intelligence was critical to solving the problems of crimes and criminality in the country.

“If you take a Yoruba man from Ogbomosho to Sokoto State, he will spend the next one year trying to understand the local language and the dynamics of the area before he starts talking of fighting crimes.

“In the same way, if you take someone from Borno to Onitsha, he will spend the next one or two years trying to understand Igbo, culture and dynamics before fighting crimes. So, when we have arrangements that work locally, the ability of the police to fight crimes and criminality will be quicker,” he said.

Mr Peter called on the Federal Government to support every state to have their own police that would be guided by respect for human rights and the constitution of the country.

According to him, there is a need to have policies and laws in place to make state police possible.

Mr Peter said there was also a need to have well-trained mobile policemen to support the efforts of state police if eventually established.

“For example in the North-Central, we can have 10,000 mobile policemen and have the same across the regions. When there is a crisis anywhere, all you need to do is to deploy as many mobile policemen as possible with support of the military.

“Once the issues have been addressed you hand it over to the state police while the military and mobile policemen will go back to their barracks,” he said.

He said the presence of the military in every state, providing internal security necessitated the call for the establishment of state police in the country.

Mr Peter said the provision of internal security was the responsibility of the police and not the military.

“To guide against abuse, we need to have a mechanism in place that will ensure that the commissioner of police is not accountable to the state government. This is where a lot of deep thinking will come to play so that we can agree on issues because as it is now, we have witnessed abuse by the Federal Government.

“For example, in several states, the governors do not have control over the commissioners of police but the country still exists. We need to find out how it is working in other places and make it to work for us by domesticating it,” he said.


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