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Group tasks Confab on the need for State Police

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The Civil Society Task team on election security in Nigeria has asked the

National Conference Committee on Devolution of power to revisit and reopen

discussion on State Police because of the necessity of it in present day Nigeria, and

ensure its inclusion in the country's Concurrent List.

A joint statement by the Convener and Secretary of the group, Ezenwa Nwagu

and Monday Osasah said multi-level policing has become imperative in the country

following the fact that the central police force has been unable to stem

the rising wave of insecurity and crime in the country.

It added that multilevel policing is the most effective form of policing

in federal jurisdictions, as such, its shot down by the Committee on Devolution of

Power ischallenging and passes for insensitivity to the plight of the nation.

The Police, under the prevailing 1999 Constitution as amended, are on the

Exclusive Legislative List which makes it a solely federal matter for which only the

National Assembly could legislate upon. But following the seeming intractable security

challenges in the country, and in the light of reducing financial burden

on the partof the federal government, the need to transfer policing to the Concurrent

Legislative List thus becomes crucial.
The notion of narrowing the state policing debate to North versus South

therefore should not arise, so much so that state governments have been funding the

Police because of the inability of the federal government to adequately cater for

the institution.
A decentralized police force is an essential ingredient of federalism as such

delegates should remember that the essence of the power devolution

committee was toreduce the burden of governance on the central government.

The security challenges in the North East would have been better handled

if thecountry had a police structure that can keep track on the local people and

identifydeviants before they get out of hand, which in effect spotlights the

usefulness ofcommunity policing.
The statement further stated that the unitary structure of the Police is

allegedlyresponsible for   the growing insecurity in Nigeria as men and officers of

thePolice are entirely strangers in their places of assignment.