Nigerian governors back state police

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Pic.10. From left: Governors Willie Obiano of Anambra; Abdulazizi Yari of Zamfara; Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger; and Aminu Tambwal os Sokoto State, at the National Economic Council Meeting in Abuja on Thursday (24/5/17). 02801/25/5/2017/Callistus Ewelike/BJO/NAN

The Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, has backed Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on the call for decentralisation of the country’s police structure, stating that the creation of state police would help in addressing the spate of insecurity in the country.

NGF chairman and governor of Zamfara state, Abdulaziz Yari, while addressing journalists after the two-day summit on national security organised by the Senate in Abuja, said most of the governors have agreed that state police should be introduced.

Yari’s comments come just days after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo called for the creation of state police, stating that “We cannot realistically police a country the size of Nigeria centrally from Abuja. State police and other community policing methods are clearly the way to go.”

According to Yari, “Today we have reiterated the position of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

“And the position of the security summit we held in August, that there is a need for the state police; we can say it is the only answer.”

The governor argued that internal security was supposed to be handled and managed by the police, and that the police of today were inadequate.

“There are about 4 million people in Zamfara and we have fewer than 5000 policemen.

“We in governance agree that we can find a way through which we can fine tune the issue of state police,” he said.

While addressing fears expressed by some governors on the cost implication, Yari said the new policing system would be introduced in phases.

His words, “It is not all the states that are supposed to have the state police, those that could, should be able to have it.

“It is something we cannot take off at the same time. We were created differently.”

Yari stated that the issue of security was not something to play with, adding that the primary responsibility of any government is to ensure that lives and properties of citizens are protected.

“Many challenges of Nigerians for the past ten years ranging from Boko Haram, cattle rustlers, armed banditry, and militancy in the Niger Delta are dwindling the Nigerian economy, and threatening the unity of the nation,” he said.

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