Nigeria ripe for state police – Akeredolu, Ganduje tell FG

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Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, and his Kano State counterpart, Abdullahi Ganduje, have called for the creation of state police.

The duo argued that it was unrealistic for states to leave the security of their citizens in the hands of the Federal Government.

According to the two governors, they had been partly responsible for equipping the police and paying allowances of policemen despite that the Nigeria Police Force was under the control of the Federal Government.

Akeredolu and Ganduje spoke alongside the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, in Lagos at the ongoing Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association holding in Victoria Island, Lagos.

Akeredolu, while making a case for the creation of state police, stressed that the country was too large for the Inspector-General of police to be giving order on security from Abuja.

He said, "This country is vast and I say it boldly, we cannot continue to be under one command of the police. It is most ineffective and it will remain ineffective. There's no way you talk about this country, as large as we are, and you take order from the IG on security in Abuja or you have men deployed in your state who are not familiar with the terrain, it does not work.

"You need people who are part and parcel of that community to be able to police that community. There's no way we will bring people who are not part of that community and they will be effective in policing the community. So, it's not that people are just talking about this state police for the fun of it, I believe that this is very fundamental and the earlier we take it up the better."

On his part, Ganduje noted that the Federal Government of Nigeria should hand over both the police and the budget for the force to the states for efficiency.

He said, "The governors are looking for the control of the security; we are not only looking for the control of the police, we are also looking for the budget that is supposed to be given to the police.

"That budget should be given to the state government. You cannot give responsibility without (bearing) financial responsibility. So, what the governors are looking for is to have the budget that is supposed to be given to the police. This is because it does not go down. We are still equipping the police even to the extent of paying them allowances in some cases. So, if we have the money and we have the police, we will be able to operate in a better way."

He said, "The fundamental thing is that we belong to the Niger Delta and you have had the amnesty programme and those from Ondo State did not benefit from it. So, they are insisting on feeling the impact of this amnesty programme. And I don't see any reason why we should not be. Luckily, the Vice-President understood our position and we are trying to carry out this amnesty programme and so, that will reduce insecurity in our riverine areas."

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