Govs, senators back Osinbajo’s call for state police

 

 

At the closing of the two-day summit on national security organised by the Senate, state governors and the federal parliament have agreed to allow states to have their police.

They backed Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo who stated at the opening of the event on Thursday that state police was “the way to go.”

Participants, who included the leadership and members of the Senate, governors and service chiefs, as well as community, religious and traditional leaders, also raised the issue of restructuring and true federalism at the summit.

Strong indications emerged after the summit that some issues raised might come up as amendment bills to alter the constitution.

Speaking with journalists at the NAF Centre Abuja venue, Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, said governors called for the decentralisation of the country’s police.

He said, “The takeaway from this summit is that the Vice-President raised some of the key discussions on that day – 17th August, 2017 – about state police. Yes, the state police issue is something that we have agreed on in 2011 and 2015 during constitution amendments.

“Today, we have reiterated the position of the Vice-President and the position of the security summit that we held in August that there is the need for state police and we say it is the only answer.”

Yari recalled that a participant asked how state police would succeed when the military had been deployed in communities where there were agitations but failed.

The governor said his response was that the military were trained for external aggressions and not for internal security operations.

“Internal security is supposed to be handled and managed by the police but the police of today are inadequate. There are about four million people in Zamfara State but we have less than five thousand policemen. If you look at the ratio, it is far below international standards. Therefore, we, the governors, agree that we can fine-tune the issue of state police,” Yari added.

Participants, who included the leadership and members of the Senate, governors and service chiefs, as well as community, religious and traditional leaders, also raised the issue of restructuring and true federalism at the summit.

Strong indications emerged after the summit that some issues raised might come up as amendment bills to alter the constitution.

Speaking with journalists at the NAF Centre Abuja venue, Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, said governors called for the decentralisation of the country’s police.

He said, “The takeaway from this summit is that the Vice-President raised some of the key discussions on that day – 17th August, 2017 – about state police. Yes, the state police issue is something that we have agreed on in 2011 and 2015 during constitution amendments.

“Today, we have reiterated the position of the Vice-President and the position of the security summit that we held in August that there is the need for state police and we say it is the only answer.”

Yari recalled that a participant asked how state police would succeed when the military had been deployed in communities where there were agitations but failed.

The governor said his response was that the military were trained for external aggressions and not for internal security operations.

“Internal security is supposed to be handled and managed by the police but the police of today are inadequate. There are about four million people in Zamfara State but we have less than five thousand policemen. If you look at the ratio, it is far below international standards. Therefore, we, the governors, agree that we can fine-tune the issue of state police,” Yari added. Punch

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