[2/15, 09:53] Moderator:
The quest for creation of state police received a boost with the endorsement of 36 States of the federation and with the presidency queueing in via the vice president prof. Yemi Osibanjo during the security summit organized by the National assembly inlast week. This same proposal was thrown out by the law makers during constitutional review, but the rejected stone has become key on the corner of the building, considering the pros and cons of running States police, and with some States struggling to pay salaries while some owing for donkey months despite receiving bailout funds, Paris club one (1) and two (2) from the federation account.
QUESTION : Is state police a solution to Nigeria’s security challenges or a misguided notion for further destruction?
Be brief and concise, solution based analysis, others are entitled to their submissions and may the most endowed school us.
[2/15, 10:03] Tony: There is a saying that goes “it takes a village to raise a child”. I think creation of State police will help in the security of each state because, they are locals and they are closer to the constituencies, but the State Assembly will have to make sure that the governors don’t abuse it and use them for intimidating the opponents.
[2/15, 10:22] Moderator: Mr. Tony welcome, I am happy you pointed out where I wanted to direct my next question, the State House of Assemblies will make laws to predetermine the use of states police by governors, but will the state law makers be bold enough to take the bull by its horn without the fear of stepping on the toes of governors? Remember they (State House of Assemblies) are considered rubber stamps to the governors.
[2/15, 10:25] Tony: For State police to work, maybe the National Assembly should help in creating laws that will make it very difficult and tougher for a state governor to use state police for his advantage.
[2/15, 10:25] Eze: This case is dicey because, we don’t have decent governors, even House of Assembly members.
[2/15, 10:26] Tony: Yep
[2/15, 10:28] Eze: It’s a good idea to increase the number of police recruits cos for over 190 million people, we have 400,000 police personnels, from which we have like 200,000 of them protecting politicians, elites and expatriates. So we need that extra policing manpower.
But it’s how the politicians especially governors will use them, that’s what’s scary
[2/15, 10:33] Tony: Very scary
[2/15, 10:35] Eze: Police will turn out to be death squad
[2/15, 10:42] Tony: That’s one of the reasons I’m in doubt. But if each state will bring between 5 to 10 people that will work with an IGP/police chief that will be appointed and confirm by the Senate and no longer the presidency, so that they can monitor hate, crimes, abuse of power by the governors etc.
[2/15, 10:43] Moderator: Well-articulated Mr. Eze and good morning, how about the issue of funding since most of them are unable to pay salaries? I think funding will be another burden on States, so I will opine that, each geo political zone have its own police, South South, South East, South west, North East, North West, middle belt, so that States within the aforementioned zones will only have to contribute a little percentage in funding it’s geo political police and it will be easier and less expensive to run
[2/15, 10:49] Tony: Funding can come from the center so to checkmate hate crimes, abuse etc.
[2/15, 10:53] Moderator: But funds from center will be allocated to State’s account which constitutionally States governors are in charge to determine who gets what, how and when. And if you say the center should fund the states police there is no difference maintaining status quo because the commissioners of police who will now be in charge in various States will be answerable to their pay master.
[2/15, 10:56] Ikechukwu: Good morning Mr. Moderator and you all, the issue of state police will go a long way in curbing insecurities in the country, the State will be free to make its decision pertaining the area of lives and property, as there will be no delay or waiting for instructions from above.
However it might turn out to be evil, by making governor’s more powerful to hunt their opponents, another issue is on the area of finance, since it is so difficult to pay staff salary, taking the responsibilities of extra body will be so hard for the state government which may reduce the commitment of the said police when not duly paid.
[2/15, 11:02] Chigozie: State policing is long over-due in Nigeria, the only solution to the security challenges bedeviling different parts of the country may be found in state policing, as no one knows or understands the terrain of any society or environment than its inhabitants and indigenes. It will indeed waken the spirit of patriotism in our police officers as they will see the security challenges of their various states as their own
States will be answerable to their pay master? I don’t think so Mr. Moderator; a law should be enacted to make the force independent of the Federal and State government, a law that will make it impossible for them to have influence on the police. This law should address the issue of promotion, key appointments, retirements etc. A due process that will make it impossible for the politicians to interfere should be put in place.
In doing so, the long coveted state policing will yield the desired fruits, also the police should be improved financially and resourcefully, so as to attract intellects and men that are ambitious.
[2/15, 11:09] Scott: Good day Comrades, before State police can be in place, strategic structures must be in place, for it to work well, such as sovereignty from State government interference, full backing of the law, but to interfere, due process to be followed, and Regular payment of salaries. More so, if those things are put in place, I bet you, it will help to tackle many issues. It will bring policing closer to the people and communities. It will create an enabling environment for citizens and foreigners to invest in the state, there by promoting the economy and cresting jobs.
[2/15, 11:11] Eze: I think personal protection can be outsourced to registered and certified security companies, and for funds, I think the way they sat to discuss the creation of State police, they should equally come up with ideas to fund same.
[2/15, 11:13] Moderator: A question though, who appoints the commissioners of police, State governors or State assemblies?
[2/15, 11:13] Eze: Assemblies are in the pocket of the governors
[2/15, 11:14] Dave: Wao state police? That will be interesting. It has been a long awaited remedy (to some large extent) of insecurity which can only be curtailed by state system of policing. This is because the federal police force has been crippled by ethnic and religious differences. Wherefore the possible solution only lies on the state policing system, where ethnic groups should be allowed to recruit from their trusted youth who know their terrains, and who is who from which community, village and household.
This can overcome issues of criminals taking over other peoples’ communities and territories, with federal police not having any knowledge of the environments hence, their failures to adequately secure the people.
And issues of funding most go beyond state or federal government. Security is the bedrocks’ of every development and what have you, therefore it is very expensive. Citizens from community level must ensure to pay some certain amount as tax for their security to the state police funds.
[2/15, 11:16] Chigozie: Good question Mr. Moderator, and that is the point am making, if a law is put in place regarding how an officer can attain some exalted positions without having a link to those in power as is often the case in Nigeria today, then we can achieve a lot.
[2/15, 11:16] Eze: @Chigozie, that will help, but the attitudes of the politicians, these people do not have morals.
[2/15, 11:17] Chigozie: True, but the process of earning promotion should be well clarified based on service and achievements and not on appointments. As far as it is based on appointment, the politicians will always tend to appoint perceived loyalists who would do their biddings.
[2/15, 11:20] Scott: State police to me, is the answer to security problems in Nigerian states, if properly structured.
[2/15, 11:20] Chigozie: it will take a total restructuring to attain an independent police force in Nigeria
[2/15, 11:25] Eze: It’s not restructuring, it’s all in our mindset and moral values. We (Nigerians) like big Tins, meanwhile we neglect the simple things that is supposed to make us better people.
[2/15, 11:30] Moderator: And the issue of tax paying by citizens should be encouraged so as to help in funding and discharging of duty
[2/15, 12:50] Chris Obi: The demand came from years of experience and research. It will to a very large extent address the current security challenges. The law will be done with public hearings, all these fears will be addressed.
[2/15, 13:27] Eze: Public wetin??? These politicians are at war with each other and it’s a case of “do me I do you back”
In Rivers State here, I know how police hunted detained and even killedmembers. The military rigging in Ekiti State, it’s not in the law or due process of it, it’s in the uprightness and the moral disposition of the custodian of the law.
[2/15, 13:34] Chigozie: Mr. Eze, all of these are as a result of the State and Federal government welding so much power and influence over the police, that’s why am of the opinion that the system need to be restructured in a way that those in power are starved of inffluence over them
As far as the IG and commissioners remain government appointees and can be relieved of their duty by their masters who appointed them, they will always be biased and sentimental in their dealings, so as to protect and guarantee their personal interest and gains and also protect the interest of their masters.
[2/15, 14:43] Mr. Odey: State police is a welcome development, but as Chigozie said, it should come with restructuring which seems to be receiving lips service by the present administration. By so doing, the issues of funding will be addressed by revenues generated at the State level through areas of their respective comparative advantage. Control by State Executives will be checked by State legislatives that we would eventually persuade to assert their autonomy.