Senate Renews Call For State Police


Orders Probe Into Benue, Kaduna, Katsina, Plateau Killings BEVERLY HILLS, CA, March 19, (THEWILL) - The Senate on Thursday gave a thought to the possibility of the establishment a state police as it renewed its call for the decentralisation of the Nigeria Police to combat the rising cases of insecurity in the country This came on the heels of the recent killings in Benue, Plateau, Kaduna, Taraba and Katsina States by Fulani herdsmen.

The Senate also mandated its Committees on Security and Intelligence, Interior,Defence and Army and Police Affairs to undertake fact finding missions into the killings and report back to the Senate.

These resolutions were sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Senator Barnabas Gemade and five other Senators titled" Recent Attacks and Killings in Plateau, Benue, Kaduna and other parts of the Central Nigerian Area.

" Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu who presided over plenary said with the current system of Federal Police, it will be very difficult to combat insecurity in the country hence the need to decentralise the Police Force.

He explained that it is unacceptable to have a federal system and still have a centralised Police, adding that we need to have Police at every level in the country "So I do believe that a country as big as Nigeria needs to effect its security.

And just as have been mentioned, it would be difficult for us to afford effective security if we continue to use the type of policing we are having in Nigeria presently.

"We run a federal system of government and is completely unacceptable in a federal system for us to also have a centralised Police.

Policemen are not magicians.
There is no way a policeman can stay in one kilometre and know when a crime is being committed in another kilometre.

"We must be able to provide sufficient Police personnel that should be at least be one policeman per hundred metres away.

And this can only be achieved if we decentralise our Police, ensuring that we have State Police and possibly local Police that is well coordinated and regulated.

We had problem in the past in this area because they were not well regulated and they were not coordinated.

"I think time has come for us to reflect on this and see how we can provide efficient security for our people.

And our Police as it is now need to be more trained and then they will be able to ensure that the laws are enforced no matter who is involved.

So if we do some of these and all that we have said here, I am sure that we would be able to recover our country from the doomsday that is being predicted.

But I believe as said by Sekibo that we can overcome this challenge and be stronger again as a country.

" he said Sponsor of the motion, Senator Gemade noted with dismay how human life has become increasingly very cheap with impunity becoming the norm in Nigeria, particularly in the case of the North Central and North Eastern Geo-political Zones, where the danger has become very real indeed and the attacks have become not only incessant but the gory details of the daily massacres are becoming more daring and horrific, reflecting casualty of mostly innocent and unsuspecting children, women and the elderly.

He lamented that in a confusion of daily headlines, the situation is further degenerating to a point in which we can clearly say that we are in the middle of a civil war with multiple ill-defined fronts and worse still the perpetrators are often presented as faceless "unknown gunmen" "Boko Haram" or in some instances, "Fulani herdsmen" in 'conflict' with "farmers" and victims on the Plateau, in Benue, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Borno, Adamawa, Yobe States and other parts of Nigeria.

" He said "Aware that in this war-like situation, the Central Nigerian Area in particular is strategically where the-factors of ethnicity and religion interact and where the symbolism of Muslim-Christian cooperation and conflict has enormous implications for the whole country.

And that, it is where the constitutional issues of Federal and State relations including the role of the Federal Police and the Military are at a critical point; "Concerned that while there is no immunity for anyone, this kind of war has become highly contagious, while the social and economic cost remains almost incalculable as these increased hostilities continue to reinforce the option of over reliance on the military which is the nation's last line of defense to undertake conventional first line police duties.

"Consequently the military has been outside the barracks providing internal security since 1999, longer than they were during the Nigerian Civil War without any exit plan that will culminate into the restoration of police duties devoid of Military-Police command challenges that can guarantee thorough investigative activities based on the nation's evidential rules of proof that can clearly draw the distinguishing lines between individual criminal conduct, communal conflicts and insurgency;" Contributing to the debate, Senator Zainab Kure( Niger PDP) stated that these attacks would have been minimised if the legislation on grazing reserves had been given proper attention and called on the Senate to pass the bill adding that this is the time for the bill to be passed expeditiously On his part ,Deputy Senate Leader,Senator Abdul Ningi ( Bauchi PDP) blamed the current insecurity problems on the systemic failure of leadership at all tiers of government.

He also posited that cattle rustling in Nigeria has now taken an international dimension adding that they are powerful Nigerians behind these criminal activities EMMA UCHE, ABUJA