Jonathan Says Nigeria Not Ready For State Police


SAN FRANCISCO, December 6, (THEWILL) - President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan said Tuesday in Ilorin that with the current political environment in the country, it will not be right to allow states to have their own police force.

Speaking at the North Central Zonal meeting of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), President Jonathan said that if state police forces were introduced now, there was a great likelihood that that they will be misused.

"State Police may be theoretically good, but looking at our political environment, it could be abused to the detriment of the country," the President said.

He said that the consensus of members of the National Council of State is that state police should not be permitted until Nigeria’s political development gets to the stage where Nigerians can be sure that it will not be misused.

"The consensus is that we should get to the point where we will be sure that whoever is in power will not turn it against the people. The first step is for us to have confidence in elections conducted at the state and local government levels," President Jonathan said.

The President also told the gathering that consultations on the deregulation of the downstream sector of Nigeria’s petroleum industry were ongoing.

He said that state governors were expected to organise town hall meetings to explain the rationale for government's stance on fuel subsidies to their people.

"Deregulation is not just about removal of subsidy but also about how we can stimulate the economy to create jobs for our teeming unemployed young men and women.

"Government is not unmindful of the hardship faced by the average Nigerian and is doing its best to create conditions in which each and every Nigerian can lift his or herself out of the doldrums of poverty.

"We are not going to celebrate corruption but fight it by doing things properly and not creating opportunities for it to thrive. We are going to systematically fight it by setting up structures and strengthening the anti-corruption institutions," President Jonathan said.

He commended NIREC for contributing to securing the peace and progress of Nigeria through being a moderating influence amongst the adherents of all faiths.

“In your role as ambassadors of God on earth, you are expected to, and I am glad that you are actually and actively involved in guiding your faithful on the path of peace.

“We do not all have to agree with each other in every aspect of life for us to live in peace and build unity. What we simply have to agree on is the fact that Nigeria is our nation and we are all Nigerians and share a common patrimony and as such we have to practice the fundamental principle of inclusivity,” the President said.