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OUR STAND ON THE ISSUE OF STATE POLICE IN NIGERIA
The issue of State Police have been at the center of National discourse now for ages, like several other issues which have fueled tension between the Federal Government on one side and State Governments on the other side, the issue of the state police have become a recurrent decimal which we believe the time have come for us to resolve it once and for all.
However, in resolving the issue one must put into consideration firstly, the genuine fear of misuse or even possibility of armed confrontation between one state that stock piles arms and the Federal Government on the other hand and secondly, the genuine and almost helplessness of the State Government in term of tackling crime within their domain without getting orders from above thereby making their title as the Chief Executive Officer or Chief Security Officer of their state as a title on paper only. Our stand is that the Federal Government should yield at this point so that an Act of Parliament or Constitutional Amendment could be carried out to define the scope of duties and relationship between the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) and the proposed State Police especially who takes precedence whenever they both find themselves working on the same case.
We believe that the wisdom of the now is to allow the establishment of State Police but the argument should be what kind of Armoury should the State Police legally carry?
We believe that there is already too much arms in the society being wielded by various security outfits whose only education on the use of such arms is to suppress the people and even the growing question of whether some compromised officers will not one day turn the used of their arm against the Federation? we concour that the new State Police should not be added to this league.
So in establishing the State Police they should legally be allowed to carry weapons ( like Martial art kit, Spy Cameras, Trained dogs, Pepper sprays, Hand Cuffs, Tear Gas and maybe Stun Guns e.t.c) except lethal weapons. That way the State Government will have their bite in the war against criminals and thereby able to contain well over 90% of the crime in their domain. we know that by our suggestion, the aspiration of the Governors may not have been fully met since they cannot combat sophisticated crime like terrorism or armed rebellion for instance, but the beauty of it is that they themselves will be prevented from starting one.
However in the event that the Federal Government fails to yield in the present argument then our view is that there is nothing in our present Constitution that prohibit the establishment of State Security Department or organization, so long as it is not called “State Police’’ but the only issue is that of ammunition, which the earlier suggestion of carrying arms except lethal weapon will suffice since arms and ammunition is in exclusive legislative list the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria which only the Federal Government can act upon.
This is our stand
God less Nigeria.
Salus Populi Chambers
Robert Igbinedion Esq
9th August 2012
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