Group tasks Confab on the need for State Police
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
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.