The Grave Dangers Of State Police And Why Buhari Should Not Approve It

On Monday, June 3rd 2019, it was reported in some media outlets across the country that President Muhammadu Buhari  has given his approval for the establishment of state and local government police across the country.

Anthony Ojukwu, the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) who also serves as the Chairman of the Presidential Panel on SARS reform, was said to have made this known at the Presidential Villa in Abuja as he revealed the report of the panel on the reform of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), of the Nigeria Police. This report will however be later dismissed by Presidential aide, Tolu Ogunlesi.

Meanwhile, the issue of State Police have been a hot topic as there have been clamour for state police in some quarters while others have kicked against the idea. So here we shall be discussing both the pros and cons of state policing and what will be the best step for him to take. However, let us first talk about state policing and what it means before getting to the meat of the article.

What Is State Policing?

State Policing can be defined in simple terms as a police force which is under the authority of a State. It is not controlled by lower districts within the state such as a city or county. In Nigeria however, when we mention State Police, it tends to mean a police force that is sub-national, for which the state government, which is a jurisdiction of the federation, is totally responsible for. This includes the organisation, maintenance, and welfare of the force.

As was stated above, there have been a call for State Police to be implemented across the country. There is a strong claim for proponents of this position as they point to the poor state of the security situation in the country which seems to be deteriorating by the day. Then some of those in favour of the creation of State Police are arguing that the country is way too large too be properly handled by a Police Command that is at the Center. They further argue that, creation of State Police will ensure that errors and loopholes will be minimised as it will be much easier for the force to be managed since it is closer to the State Government which will be managing it.

However, those who are not in support of the establishment of State Police have said that the country is not yet politically matured to operate Police Forces which will be organised and placed under the full authority of State Governments.

Advantages Of State Police

Let us consider below some of the positive effects that the creation of State Police in Nigeria will have.

As was stated above, it will serve to stem the rate of insecurity across the country which seems to be on a non stop increase as things stand now. Insecurity will not be the only challenge that will be handled by the creation of State Police as it will serve to as well address the problem of unemployment in the country across the states in the country.

There is also the attitude that some policemen in the Federal Police exhibit whereby they hardly stay in their state of origin to work as members of the force but would rather move to other states that they think to be more lucrative.

In recent times, there have been cries and theories of an alleged plan of Islamisation being carried out in the country. The provision of State Police may help to curb the imposition of Islam particularly in some some northern states in the country. In like manner, the very disturbing trend of kidnap which is more prevalent in the southern parts of the country will be checkmated.

Creation of State police will as well encourage true federalism while putting a stop to the spread of criminal activities in the country.

Disadvantages Of State Police

While there are some major advantages in the creation of State Police, there are also some major disadvantages which may result from the establishment of State Police.

The major disadvantage of establishing State Police in Nigeria is that, some state governors might end up abusing it, which may not go well with some of their subjects. Perceived political opponents of the state government may face harassment from State Police on the orders of the Governor of the state.

Another thing is that with the threat of secession looming in different parts of the country, it may not be too wise. This is because the creation of State Police may lead a Governor who has total control of a police force and arms to seek independence and declare his own country, which will eventually lead to anarchy as things stand now.

Then there is the danger of states having a conflict of jurisdiction, this is because of tension that may arise due to differences in political parties.

Then there is the issue of financing. First of all, it will not be easy to finance a State Police force due to the strength of workforce that is required to run a successful police force. With the complaints made by some governors as to the payment of minimum wage, it may seem an added burden to include the payment of a work force.

There is also the danger of tribalism that may stem from the creation of State Police.

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In conclusion, while there are major benefits that may come from creating a State Police Force, it should be put onto consideration that the attachments which comes with state of origins may actually serve to hinder the establishments of the force. From the analysis made above though, it seems the consequences of the disadvantages may prove far more costly than any benefits that the creation of state police may have for now.

Let us know what your thoughts are on this story in the comment section below.

One thought on “The Grave Dangers Of State Police And Why Buhari Should Not Approve It

  1. If state and lg police are established strict by-laws guiding their operations should also of necessity be put in place. They must also submit to the IG as much as they do to state governors and council chairmen.

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