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Nigerian Governors Forum Throws Weight Behind State Police

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Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) on Monday supported creation of state to address the persistent insecurity problem across the country. 

The Vice President,  Yemi Osibanjo had on last supported the creation of state police as a way of solving security problem in the country. 

However,  addressing newsmen after the six hours closed session at summit on National Security organized by Senate,  the chairman of the forum, Alhaji Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari said establishment of state police is the only way out of the current security problem in Nigeria. 

He added that the idea was supported before the 2015 elections but due to division among the state governors over the election of their chairman the issue was unable to scale through. 

He said, “The first primary responsibility of government anywhere in the world is to ensure that the lives and properties of citizens is protected. And there has been so many challenges in Nigeria for the past 10 years ranging from Boko Haram, cattle rustling, armed banditary, 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 Vice President raised some of the key discussions on the 17 of August about the issue of state police. 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. 

“Today, we have reiterated the position of the Vice President on the security summit we held in August that there is a need for state police. And we can say it is only the answer. The police of today are inadequate so if we look at the ratio, it is far below international standard. Therefore, we in the Forum agreed that we can find a way that we can fine-tune the issue of State police. “

Commenting on the problem of financial capacity of some states to finance the state Police,  Yari explained that states that have the capacity to start can embark on it while some federal police in those states will be deployed to other states that lack the financial capacity to do so. 

He said,  “That is why we are saying that it is not all the states that are supposed to have state police. Those that can, can have it. For instance, Lagos State, as rich as they are, can have state police. The Federal police in Lagos, they can reduce the number to Osun, Ogun and other states that cannot do it. 

“If Rivers State can afford it, the number of Federal police can be redeployed to Cross River and other neighbouring states like Enugu that cannot do it. If Kano State can do it, they can take to my state that is not all that richer. It is something that we can’t take up at the same time and land at the same time.”

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