State governments, including Zamfara, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Taraba and Abia, have restated their call for state police amid rising insecurity in the country.
The state government officials, in separate interviews with newsmen, said the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu’s community police programme was not a replacement for state police.
Earlier this year, the Federal Government, as part of efforts to address the increasing demand for state police, approved the IG’s community policing programme.
Ministry of Police Affairs also recently said 9,694 special constables for community policing who were about to graduate from 14 training schools, would be posted to different states to strengthen security.
But ahead of governors’ security meeting on Wednesday, some states reiterated the call for state police.
Speaking to newsmen on behalf of the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, the state Director General, Public Enlightenment and Communications, Alhaji Yusuf Idris, said that the call for state police was still relevant despite the formation of the community police known as the constabularies.
Idris said, “Considering the current security challenges in Zamfara State in particular and the country in general, there is the need for the state police”.
Also, the Akwa State Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Ini Emem-Obong, said the state government was still in support of the state police.
Emem-Obong, who stated this in an interview with The PUNCH in Uyo, said, “We are still advocating state police, you know that will take constitutional amendment, but it is our position that people from an area can best secure themselves.”
On his part, the Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, insisted that state police remained a better alternative in the fight against insecurity in the country.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Bala Dan-Abu, Ishaku said governors should be allowed to control state police for better security.
He stated, “It’s quite disappointing that during the looting by hoodlums recently security agencies could not do anything to stop the looters.
“The truth of the fact is that state governors have no constitutional control over these agencies.”
In Abia State, the Commissioner for Homeland Security, Prince Dan Okoli, disclosed to newsmen that the state government was in support of state police.
He stated, “With what is happening around now, you will find out that Nigeria tends towards having state police. I want to say that every reasonable and sensible state government will opt for state police and Abia State Government is one of the states that are clamouring for state police.
“The state even has its own security outfit, the Homeland Security Watch because of our need for secured environment. One can see that Abia State has remained peaceful and secured.”
On his part, Ekiti State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Olawale Fapohunda, on behalf of the state government and the governor, said that the rising insecurity across the country had made the decentralisation of the police a necessity.
Fapohunda, who said decentralised police would solve the insecurity problems in the country, said, “Our position in Ekiti State has always been that we need to decentralise the police in the spirit of true federalism. That is a constant conversation we have been having on how to secure our people”.