Following the agitation for restructuring of Nigeria, the state executives under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) rose from a meeting in Abuja on Wednesday night with a demand for state police.
Though the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris declared Nigeria unripe for it, the Forum set up a committee to look into modalities for its implementation.
The committee headed by the Governor of Kwara, Abdulfata Ahmed, the committee has governors of Imo, Rochas Okorocha; Delta, Ifeanyi Okowa; Ekiti, Ayo Fayose; Bauchi Abubakar Mohammed and Sokoto Aminu Bello as members, will also look into funding for the force.
It is expected to interface with the Police committee and take the matter before the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, for further action.
The meeting was attended by IGP Idris, who briefed the governors.
Briefing State House correspondents, chairman of the Forum and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, said the committee which has representatives from the six geo-political zones of the country, has been saddled with the responsibility of providing ways to better police the country in order to adequately deal with rising insecurity and attendant loss of lives.
“We discussed and we received presentation from the Inspector General of Police. He made a presentation to us canvassing for support to introduce media outfits; radio and television for the force and as well as for the Police to go technological from the manual ways of doing things.
“The Inspector General of Police dominated the whole of our discussion today,” he said, adding that there was the need for a proper ratio of policemen to citizens’ population as it obtains in other countries.”
The NGF also noted the funding difficulties of the police, which has hampered their effectiveness.
“They (police) are having so many difficulties in funding which we have agreed that with the way things are going through the budgeting process, we will not be able to fund police.
“So, the Inspector General of Police made us to know that there is a kind of Trust Fund Bill, which is before the National Assembly and asked for our support and that of the members of the National Assembly, especially the House of Representatives.
Yari noted that there were several options on the idea of State Police, which the committee will look into.
However, IGP Idris sang a discordant tune as he told the governors that Nigeria was politically immature for state-own police.
He said federal police system was the best for the country.
Rather than state police, he appealed to government to improve funding for the force and also pleaded with the governors to support the passage of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund bill before the National Assembly.
“I sincerely believe that the federal police is still the best for the country and with improved funding the challenges of crime will be addressed,” Jimoh Moshood, police spokesman, quoted him as saying. It is my sincere belief that once the police trust fund bill is passed into law, the necessary finances required to effectively police the nation will be available.”
He said this would also reduce the pressure on the state governments in the funding of the police.
Idris said police officers in the country were one of the least paid security organisations in the world in spite of operating under the UN ratio of 1:400.
He added that with the current ratio of 1:602 the Nigeria police was operating far below the United Nation’s ratio.
“About 10,000 police officers have been recruited recently to fill the gap but this is still a far cry,” he said.
“To meet up with the UN ratio of 1:400, the Nigeria police requires additional 155,000 police officers for the next five years.”
IGP who disclosed that a request to recruit 31,000 policemen had been sent to President Muhammadu Buhari for approval, also said the current police management was making efforts to establish structures that would bridge the communication gap between the Police and members of the public.
Idris said one of such structures included the establishment of the Nigeria Police Broadcasting Service (NPBS).
“When commissioned, it will broadcast Nationwide on TV, Radio, online and the National Emergency Communication Command Control Centre (NEC4),” he said.
(Culled from Dailysun)
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