Confab approves state police, National Border Force, others

Delegates rejected recommendation that 70 per cent of Federal police officers in any state should be indigenes of that state.

The National Conference on Thursday approved the creation of state police, National Border Force and Coast Guard; among others, for improved security across the nation.

The decisions were taken during the adoption of the report of the Conference Committee on National Security, headed by a former Inspector General of Police, Gambo Jimeta.

It was during the presentation of the Committee’s report on Wednesday by its Vice Chairman, Albert Horsfall, that the Conference Chairman, Idris Kutigi, chased journalists of out of the plenary session.

The situation later degenerated to a stage where journalists accredited to cover the Conference proceedings, decided to boycott the day’s sitting.

When the Conference reconvened on Thursday morning, the delegates commenced voting in a bid to amend as well as adopt the recommendations of the Committee.

The Vice Chairman of the Conference, Bolaji Akinyemi, who presided over the voting, read the recommendations and the concomitant amendments before putting the question to the delegates.

On a unanimous voice vote, delegates approved the establishment, funding and operation of state and community police based on state laws.

Another important decision taken was the adoption of the recommendation for the establishment of a National Border Patrol Force under the ministry of defence. However, an attempt to situate the new force under the Nigerian Immigrations Service, NIS, was stoutly rejected by majority of the delegates.

The Conference also rejected the recommendation that the proposed Border Patrol Force should maintain a single entry point into Nigeria.

After a brief disagreement, the Conference adopted the recommendation to ensure that federal police officers from Deputy Superintendent to the least rank should be indigenes of the state they are deployed to.  However, the delegates disagreed with the recommendation that 70 per cent of federal police officers in any state should be indigenes of that state.

There was a stalemate on the mode of operation and superiority between the federal police and the state police.

 

Ayo Adebanjo said the state police should be autonomous and should operate as a coordinate with the federal police. He argued that the state is a coordinate to the Federal Government.

On his part, Femi Falana noted that there were states with different police operations with commissioners of police manning them.

The Conference finally agreed that the police, whether operated by the state or the federal government, should be properly funded.

The Conference further adopted the recommendation to limit the number of vehicles on government convoys and to empower the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, to set speed limits for convoys.

The recommendation for the creation of Security and Intelligence Services Oversight Commission was adopted after Mr. Akinyemi had taken a little time to explain why the commission was necessary.

The Conference also adopted the recommendation to re-organise the Defence Industry Company of Nigeria and creation of a Military Industrial Complex in the country.

The Conference, however, rejected the recommendation to bar the Nigerian Army from being drafted for electoral duties.

It rejected the recommendation that the NSCDC, the Nigerian Immigration Service, the NDLEA, and the Custom Service be represented in the States Security Council.

Sam Egwu suggested that the Conference should place the security votes of state governors under the control of the state security council, arguing that the situation where billions of naira was being approved as security vote without control was inimical to the proper utilisation of the funds.

The Conference adopted the recommendation that retired military personnel be trained and engaged in the fight against Boko Haram.

It, however, rejected the recommendation that the National Security Adviser establish a Homeland Security Force and the merger of the NSCDC and FRSC with the police.

It also adopted a recommendation for a life insurance to be created for all armed security personnel in the country but rejected the recommendation for the establishment the Police Complaints Authority.

The Conference adopted the recommendation that the office of the Chief of Defence Staff be incorporated in the Nigeria Constitution.

 

The Conference also adopted the recommendation that the Federal Government should compensate communities destroyed during internal security crisis.

Adebola Ogunsola and Atedo Peterside eventually moved for the adoption of the report of the Committee on National Security with the amendments made.


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