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Governors want state police agenda executed in phases


Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari

State governors have suggested that the idea of state police should be implemented in phases to allow states with limited resources to continue with the federal police until they can afford it.

This is part of the resolutions taken at the just concluded national summit convened by the Senate in Abuja.

Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Zamfara State Governor, Alhaji Abdul’aziz Yari, who addressed journalists at the Summit venue yesterday declared however that the governors had since agreed with the state police idea since 2014 during the National Conference.

According to Yari, “The primary responsibility of government anywhere in the world is to ensure that the lives and property of citizens are protected. And there has been so many challenges in Nigeria for the past 10 years ranging from Boko Haram, cattle rustling, armed banditry, militancy in the Niger Delta dwindling the economy and even threatening the unity of the nation.

“The take home from this summit is that the state police is something we have agreed during the constitutional amendment but at a later time when the Forum divided into two, some governors played to the gallery, which is unfortunate.’’

Yari said the governors admitted that the police of today are inadequate, adding that the ratio is far below international standard. “The Forum agreed that we can find a way to fine-tune the issue of state police.

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“That is why we are saying that it is not all the states that are supposed to have state police immediately. Those that can afford it now, can have it. For instance, Lagos State, as rich as it is, can have state police. The federal police in Lagos can be reduced so that more would be redeployed to Osun, Ogun and other states that cannot do it.

“Also, if Rivers State can afford it, the number of Federal police can be reduced so that more will be redeployed to Cross River and other neighbouring states like Enugu that cannot do it.

“If Kano State can do it, more federal policemen can be redeployed to my state (Zamafara). It is something that we can’t take up at the same time,” he added.

In a separate interview, the Senate minority leader, Godswill Akpabio, stated that the National Assembly would effect further amendment to the constitution to give effect to the state police demand.

According to him, “We need to remove it from exclusive list and put it in concurrent legislative list so that states can also make laws to provide for their own policing.

Also speaking, a former governor of Kebbi State, Senator Adamu Aliero, disclosed that the summit also reviewed the lack of synergy among security agencies in the country.

Senator Sam Anyanwu of the PDP from Imo State said the failure of the Federal Government to adhere to the federal character principle is posing serious threat to national security.

According to him, “some states are not represented in the present security structure and this does not augur well for national security”

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