Osinbajo’s Call for State Police gets the Backing of Govs, Senators

The call for the creation of state police by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has received the backing of state governors and senators after a two-day summit on national security organised by the Senate.

At the opening of the summit Thursday, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo stated that state police was “the way to go”, and this was agreed upon by participants, who included the leadership and members of the Senate, governors and service chiefs, as well as community, religious and traditional leaders.

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, Punch writes.

“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,” he said.

“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 dismissed the fear of possible abuse of state police by governors as raised by some of the participants, noting that the judiciary had been operating freely under governors, which was an indication that state police would also grow under the control of the states.

The governor added that the new system would be introduced in phases, starting with states that had the financial capability.

In his take, the Minority Leader of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, said the lawmakers might review the constitution to effect devolution of powers and accommodate state police.

“Therefore, there is the need to decentralise that aspect and that comes under devolution of powers. We may need to review the constitution to bring security under the concurrent list of the legislature so that it will be easy for the states to set up something that will be in line with proper guidelines. State policing has been accepted by all and sundry. I have not seen anybody speaking against it. I think that is one major thing we can take out of this summit. The centralisation of the police can no longer work with the kind of population that we have today.”

The former Governor of Akwa Ibom State also said the participants agreed on establishment of ranches and grazing reserves as the grazing routes created for nomadic herdsmen had been blocked with structures due to development of towns and cities over the years.

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