State Police: Invitation To Anarchy, Executive Lawlessness | Nigeria Newspaper- Nigeria News| Naija News

31.7.17

State Police: Invitation To Anarchy, Executive Lawlessness

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State Police: Invitation To Anarchy, Executive Lawlessness

State Police, which the 2014 National Conference convoked by the Goodluck Jonathan administration approved, appears desirable.
It will address the rising incidence of crime and criminality at the state levels. It will involve the indigenes in policing their states as they will form the bulk of such Police.
Criminals such as robbers and kidnapers, will be easily identified and promptly sanctioned. There is every likelihood that safety and security of lives and property will be guaranteed with a state Police in place.
These are seemingly plausible reasons advanced by the proponents of the idea.
Based on these and others, there seems to be a renewed vigour on the call, particularly championed by the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) of recent.
State Police or provincial Police has been identified as a sub national territorial Police Force, which exists in advanced nations such as UK and the U.S.
This Police, particularly in the United States, have been charged with the responsibilities of ensuring safety of motorists on interstate highway,  enforcement of traffic laws on those highways and in some cases, engagement in statewide law enforcement and criminal investigation.
These practices in some few countries of the world may be viewed as fundamental, which remains enough reasons the agitation for the introduction of state Police in Nigeria continued to attract attention of individuals and groups in authorities.
Regrettably, it would be recalled that Poland had one time operated a state Police, but was unable to sustain it because of numerous challenges it encountered and subsequently had to revert to federal policing.
However, the advantages of state Police pale into a gale of negative dimensions when such Police operate at the whims and caprices of a state Governor who can use such agency as an instrument of vendetta.
It is open to abuse and misuse against political opponents.
While state Police exists in developed countries such as the US, it may be a dangerous idea in an unripe democracy like Nigeria.
The establishment of state Police will place enormous burden on the state governments most of which have not paid their workers’ salaries for months
Many others are yet to settle backlog of unpaid pension, funding of education, healthcare, agriculture as well as provision of the much needed dividends of democracy to the people.
It is suicidal to give the state government more than they can chew. Besides, indigenes are most likely to populate a state Police Force.
There are genuine fears that such security operatives may become too familiar with the terrain such that they compromise and overlook certain crimes, instead of checking such acts.
As a result, they become a problem and not a solution.
Even though the call for the novelty in Nigeria is not new, the question that agitates the minds of many Nigerians and of course, should be of concern is are we really ripe enough for the practice?
There is no doubt that Nigerians are faced with insecurity challenges of diverse dimensions of recent, and that prompted the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim K. Idris, to seek the Federal Government’s approval to recruit at least 31,000 police personnel per annum for a period of five years.
This will definitely augument the manpower of the force and to as well meet the UN standard ratio of one policeman to four hundred people (1:400).
And as we can rightly observe, the Nigeria Police Force has continuously been challenged by ventilations of difficulties for too long.
As a follow-up call to the Governors in Nigeria, the IGP of recent solicited their support in urging the National Assembly to favourably consider the stagnated Police Trust Fund Bill in the National Assembly.
Nevertheless, we must without hesitation, attempt to justify the need for the proper training, equipping and finding  of the  force, not of the desire to introduce state Police in Nigeria.
It is obvious that we are challenged by nationwide security matters. This  obviously calls for collective effort to participate in the drive to challenge and address the burning issues.
This brings the need for synergy among the Armed Forces of Nigeria into fore, to collectively address the insecurity challenge.
While it is conceded that freedom of opinion warranted the call for state police,  this class of thought only enlivens the body polity of the country.
A school of thought has convincingly argued that the introduction of state Police in Nigeria is a tacos invitation to chaos  and attempt to create perpetual fear in the minds of innocent citizens
Not too long ago a former Police Commissioner of Lagos State, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, observed that state Police would turn into a weapon of intimidation and harassment of the opponents by state Governors.
In the same vein, Simon Ebegbulem, in a news comment, reported Senator Rowland Onzie, a former Chief whip in the Senate, as saying the National Assembly should not support the call for the creation of State Police as Governors would likely use them as a tool of intimidation of opponents.
In his words, it was reported that “creation of state Police will not only create dictators out of some Governors but will also cause mayhem that may snowball into a civil war in some states’’.
– Abayomi, a public affairs analyst, writes from Abuja

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