The Nigeria Governors’ Forum will never support the introduction of state police in the country, the Yobe State governor, Ibrahim Geidam has disclosed.
In an interview with the BBC on Monday, Mr. Geidam said at a recent meeting of the Forum, where the issue was discussed, thirty-four of the nation’s 36 governors shot down the proposal.
The governor said the decision to reject the move followed superior argument by majority of the governors that state officials could use state police for political gains.
Mr Geidam said security is and should remain the responsibility of the federal government.
“Take it from me, anyone calling for state police wants to use it for his political gains,” the governor said. “I am a member of the Nigeria Governors Forum and we had a meeting in Abuja on this matter and 34 governors rejected it, only two were in support.
“I don’t support the idea of state police because I am a politician and I may just need it for my political purpose and being an ANPP Governor, anytime somebody from the PDP becomes governor, he will naturally disband them and bring in his own because he will not trust them. So for how long should we continue to change the police?” he said.
The governor also dismissed suggestions that the federal government had been manipulating the Nigeria Police in its favour during elections.
“I am not aware of anytime that the federal government used the police for political gains during election,” Mr. Geidam said.
The governor’s stance is in line with that of President Goodluck Jonathan. During a visit to Kwara state last week, President Goodluck Jonathan objected to the idea of state police.
“State police, theoretically, is good. But given the Nigerian political environment, it can be extremely abused.
“Until the leaders at the state level remain neutral about issues that affect the people and until we begin to see free and fair elections; that we can begin to have confidence that the state apparatus will not be used against the people, then we can begin to talk about state police,” the president was quoted as saying.