Inspector General of Police say NO to state police

……says Nigeria not mature to control state police

By Samuel Ogunsona

Hope for state police has been dashed by the Inspector General of Police, IG Mr Olukayode Egbetokun.

He said Nigeria states are not ‘mature’ enough to control state police.

The IG stance is an embarrassment to many Nigerians who have put their hope in President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to ensure state policing.

The position of the IG is seen by many as reactionary and self-serving given the popular demand for State Police by many Nigerians. Top police officers often oppose the creation of State Police for the fact that the current structure benefits and sustains their privileges.

Egbetokun who was represented by Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Ben Okolo, said this at the one-day event organised by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas with the theme “Pathways to Peace: Reimagining Policing in Nigeria” on Monday.

He said state Governors are likely to abuse the power of state controlled police. However, at present, the Federal Government equally abuse the police while influential individuals and corporate organisations also misuse and abuse the police service neutralising the position of the IG.

He argued that Governors will also misuse the privilege for their political gains which may lead to the abuse of power and violation of the rights of citizens.

“On the issue of state police, it is the submission of the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) that Nigeria is not yet mature and ready for the establishment of state-controlled police.

“State governors could use the police forces under their control for political or personal gain and undermine human rights and security. There would also be a conflict of jurisdiction,” he noted.

He added that the state lacks the funds needed to birth the type of policing the Nation requires.

He recommends the merging of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Federal Road Safety Commission to form departments in the Nigeria Police Force rather than the establishment of state police.

“Yearly recruitment of about 30,000 police personnel into the Force annually to meet the UN requirements for modern policing, while also increasing annual budgetary allocation to the Force is required” he said.

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