IBB supports state police, opposes Northern Governors

Former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida

 The former Nigerian leader believes there would be constitutional checks against excesses of state police

By Ini Ekott

Ex-military ruler, Ibrahim Babangida, on Thursday repeated his call for the establishment of state police, in a remark that puts the former presidential aspirant at odds with the position canvassed by northern governors.

Mr. Babangida spoke at an event in the Niger state capital, Minna, to mark his 71st birthday. He also reaffirmed his decision not to seek office again in 2015.

“I will not seek the 2015 presidential ticket, I will continue to play my role as an elder statesman and advise those in power and those seeking elective position, ’’ he said.

The retired ruler said fears that such a state force may be hijacked by state governors, were unnecessary as such moves could always be resisted by the people.

Mr. Babangida’s remarks followed a similar call he made ahead of his 2011 presidential bid, fuelling concerns the remark may have been more of a political showing than based on principles.

With a fresh constitutional review underway, the debate about setting up state police has won as much support as it has gained opposition.

The Northern governors’ forum denounced plans for any amendment that would authorize the proposal, weeks after the powerful umbrella body, the Nigerian governors’ forum, had backed the setting up of another tier of policing.

Mr. Babangida said those opposed to state police may be haunted by the notorious activities of the proscribed native police during the pre-independence period.

He said the fears by some Nigerians about the activities of the native police during the 1959 elections when the then government in power used the police to intimidate their opponents to win the elections were “unfounded” in the contemporary situation.

 “We have passed that stage now,’’ he said.

He warned that if a sitting governor deployed the new police he would be in charge of, to commit electoral fraud, the people would be at the liberty to react by forcibly protecting their votes.

He also said constitutional safeguards would be put in place to curb such abuse.

Babangida said state police should administer state laws within the provisions establishing them, while the federal police should administer federal legislations.

 


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  • zabdi

    if we will tell ourselves the truth we all knw that security solution in niaja now is state policing though some will kick against it due 2 their own selfish interest but i knw that those that supports will one day live 2 regret it , i hear some saying we are not ripe 4 it what type of policing do we have b4 the independent ?pls our leaders lets imbibe change ,how long shall we dwell in what is not helping us , we hav been having reforms upon reforms on the old system ,spending billions upon billions yet no solution bcos we refuse to do what is right ,if u the leaders fail 2 do it right now that is (1) bcos of ur greeds (2) bcos of ur foolishness,and blindness, IBB who was once there knw the mistake they made that is y he is advicing u all thanks