State Governors Set to Decide on Establishment of State Police Amid Rising Insecurity

In a bid to address the escalating insecurity across the country, the decisions of the remaining 20 state governors on the proposed establishment of state police are anticipated to be submitted within the next four weeks, according to Asishana Okauru, the Director-General of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum.

Sixteen state governors had previously voiced their support for the creation of state police as a solution to the prevailing security challenges. The National Economic Council had received reports from these governors during its 140th meeting held at the Aso Rock Villa on March 21, 2024.

Okauru confirmed that the remaining 20 governors were in the process of submitting their reports on the matter and emphasized the unanimous support among governors for the establishment of state police.

While acknowledging potential funding challenges for state police, Okauru highlighted the need for innovative financing solutions, suggesting that the police institution could be revenue-generating, similar to models in other countries.

The call for state police echoes President Bola Tinubu’s agreement on the necessity for its establishment, as discussed during a meeting between the President and governors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on February 15, 2024. This move aligns with previous recommendations, including those from the 2014 National Political Reform Conference, which advocated for devolving policing to states.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives Committee on Constitution Review is set to host a retreat on the State Police Bill and related bills, signaling legislative efforts to address the issue. The bill seeking to establish state police has passed the second reading in the House of Representatives, with proposed amendments to transfer policing powers to the concurrent legislative list.

Security experts have weighed in on the matter, with divergent opinions on the feasibility and implications of state police. While some advocate for its establishment as a means to enhance security at the grassroots level, others express concerns about potential abuse of power by governors.

Professor Evelyn Yusuf of Kaduna State University underscores the importance of policies to prevent the politicization of state police and ensure their effective functioning within communities.


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