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FG, Govs, Afenifere consider State Police

By Jubril Bada & Bukola Olamona

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Leaders of the Pan-Yoruba Socio-Cultural Organisation, Afenifere, have renewed their calls for State Police, describing it as the best way to go.

This is coming as the Federal Government and 36 states Governors are considering the creation of state police in the country.

The development followed an emergency meeting between President Bola Tinubu and the state governors at the Aso Rock Villa, on Thursday.

In recent time, there have been upsurge on insecurity, especially kidnapping for ransom, killings, and recently, food  scarcity leading to hike in prices and hardship.

Besides, many prominent Nigerians, including former Head of State, Gen Ibrahim Babangida, sociopolitical groups like Afenifere, Arewa Consultative Forum, Ohaneze Ndigbo, among others, have openly called for the creation of State Police in the country.

 The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, after the meeting on Thursday, explained that the process is still in its infancy and would only take shape after more deliberations between stakeholders.

Reacting to the development in separate interviews with The Hope yesterday, the Ondo State Chairman of Afenifere, Chief Korede Duyile and a Chieftain of the group, Chief Femi Aluko, said with the resurgence of insecurity across the country, the best time to have state police is now.

They described state police as a good initiative that Afenifere has been advocating for quite a long time.

According to Afenifere, if urgent step is not taken in that direction, Nigeria could be in serious trouble, considering the spate of security challenges the country is currently facing.

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They called on the 36 states Governors to support the President and make the issue of State police creation a matter of urgency.

Chief Duyile said it is a welcome idea that Afenifere has been advocating for quite a long time.

He stressed that, state Governors as Chief Security Officers have to do the needful and improve on the security architecture for the safety of lives and property of their citizens.

He noted that the initiative is not new in Nigeria, explaining that the country once had local government, regional and federal police structures to protect lives and properties of their citizens in the First Republic.

“You understand that there have been security challenges as it was published on social media recently, and there is need for government to deploy security to fight it,” he said.

Also, Chief Aluko, former Commissioner for Education in the State stressed that, “as far as I am concerned, the issue of State police is not something they should be dragging their foot on, it is a matter of urgency, otherwise Nigeria is already in trouble without allowing the issue of State police to take firm root.

“Tinubu should be very careful now, it should be a constitutional matter but a matter of urgency. The President and the governors saw what is happening across the country, why are they dragging their foot on it.

” The Governors, whether PDP or APC, should support the President and ensure the issue of State Police is made a matter of urgency,” Chief Aluko stressed.

But a retired Police Commissioner, CP Phillips Ogbadu, disagreed with the idea of state police, saying it will be subject to abuse by state governors.

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“I do not agree with state policing because every governor will want to have their own state laws on ground. If the federal government would come up with regional policing it would be better.

“The bitter truth is that, if the President is coming to your state and you are not in agreement, the state governor can give order to his state police to defer the (President’s) coming.

“Now, let’s talk about the Federal policing. They are too centralized. You can imagine the police boss in Damaturu control the police in Lagos for example. What does that man in Damaturu knows about Lagos state and its environs?

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