Why some states won’t be able to run own police – Police Commissioner

Akwa Ibom Police Commissioner, Mr. Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi

The Commissioner of Police in Akwa Ibom State, Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi, has advised Nigerians to reconsider their agitation for state police, saying that the best option for the country is to equip the existing police to function effectively.

Mr. Ogunjemilusi, who was speaking on Saturday during a live interview with Inspiration 105.9 FM, Uyo, said it is very expensive to maintain the police.

“Have we been able to service what we have? Have we been able to equip the Nigerian police?” the police chief said.

“Security generally is very expensive. I wish that government would accede to the states creating their own police. But I can assure you that within the next two years some of the states would come back and hand over the police back to the federal government.

“In Canada, many of the states have handed over their police back to the federal government because of funding. It is so expensive.”

The police commissioner said from his experience in Bayelsa state where he served previously it was expensive to get the police, for instance, to patrol the waters.

“When I got to Bayelsa State, we were to go on patrol of some critical areas. We had to move in two boats. One of the boats was bullet-proof and very big. The second one was a normal boat. I got a bill of N1.6 million for fueling. I was embarrassed because that was the first posting to a riverine area. Actually, the governor mandated me to do that. I was so scared to go and present it to the governor because I didn’t know anything about boat and I thought my marine officer was trying to cheat me. So, I cut the bill to N1.2 million,” he said in the interview.

Mr. Ogunjemilusi said he later learnt from the governor that the money wasn’t enough to fuel the two boats.

“How many vehicles do you think a local government area will need for proper policing? There’s a local government area in Akwa Ibom that I went to, they said they have 86 villages.

“Policing is not as cheap as people think. When you look at power supply, for instance, you need generators in all the stations. You need communications. And also for every investigation, you need allowance.

The Nigerian police have been constantly criticised as being corrupt, anti-people, and ineffective in fighting crimes.

With the call for the restructuring of Nigeria gaining more grounds, many Nigerians are demanding the creation of state police.

The Nigerian governors on Monday expressed their support for the agitation.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Governor Abdulaziz Yari, said, at the end of a two-day summit organised by the Senate Ad hoc Committee on Review of Current Security Infrastructure in Nigeria, that the creation of state police would help in addressing spate of insecurity in the country.

“It is not all the states that are supposed to have the state police, those that could, should be able to have it,” Mr. Yari, who is the governor of Zamfara State, spoke on the cost implications of state police.

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


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  • Opekete

    The police commissioner did not factor in some other factors that made the states seems impossible to finance their own security architecture. When the corruption by states executives and other wastages are accounted for, the fear that the state may not be able to finance the state police becomes a ruse. It will also make the state executives more accountable to the people while revenue generation and collection will be optimized. People will be willing to pay their taxes when they see the result of their tax services. Security is essential to economic prosperity and it can only be managed at the local level while the federal should still maintain a kind of supervisory role to rein in any attempt by the state to use the local police to intimidate political opponents or to perpetrate injustice in whatever way or shape.

    • PolyGon2013

      Thank you jare.

      • King

        State policing is inevitable when u look at Nigeria.
        The governor of a state is the chief security officer of his state, but does not have outright authority over the police in his state, because they are federal police…..invariably, it means, he can helplessly watch his people being massacred without doing anything. We saw that in Benue, plateau, Taraba, Kaduna, but to mention a few; the federal government is the only one that has d authority to command the federal police, even the IG of police is more powerful on matter of security than a sitting governor.
        A governor in Nigeria is only a theoretical chief security officer of his state, without power to enforce compliance.
        An IG might be bias, when it comes to security, if he does not like the governor or the people whom he is supposed to protect, we have seen that happen time and time again; security agents are not sent immediately to hotspot of fighting until days after entire community are wiped out. In this modern day, where 99% of every household have mobile phones, and other forms of communication, how long does it take security agencies to get to d scene of crime, of course it won’t take long if the government is proactive and have their interest at heart. For them, to act, they have to wait for order from the president or IG; as I said earlier, if both actors want to be bias, they will ignore the victims and allow the killings to continue. Nigerian government did not send the police immediately, during the new day mass killings, even the army were sent after more than a month…..
        Since a governor is the chief security officer of his state, he should be able to command security of his state without begging the federal government or IG…this is one of the loopholes in our constitution which requires amendment. If his state has police just like in the Western world, they will be at his command, at the time of crisis, they will act immediately instead of waiting For more than a week or month before deploying as is the attitude of the federal government or police.
        In respect to funding, it might not necessarily be a challenge because everyone wants security which is the first priority of a government, indigenes will be willing to pay additional tax, to ensure security of their lives and property. If every individual from a streets can contribute #300 every month for neighbourhood security, if state indigene replicate that, it will go a long way to pay for state police..
        State police would always obey the state governor’s order..

        • King

          That commissioner of police did not take a holistic view of the situation: he was not objective, rational and constructive when he only pointed at d challenge of sponsorship, he was too subjective, he should know that a lot of factor should be taken into consideration.
          A rational human being will do anything to stay alive, no matter how poor he is, he will give his last penny to prevent some sadist from torturing, maiming, or killing him outrightly or gruesome manner.
          What am saying, ordinary or rich indigenes of state will be willing to be taxed and protected in order not to fall victim to people who are bent on ethnic cleansing or genocide.
          He was using the creeks as a case study, which was wrong, Nigeria has only few creeks found in the Niger delta area, he didn’t consider the topography of the East, North central, northeast, Southwest, Northwest which will not require boat burning great amount of fuel for patrol…..u can’t make an analogy without taking all factors into consideration; that is the problem u have when professionalism is lacking, here, patrol could be made on foot in respect to community concerned or if necessary aircraft…
          Don’t tell me that aircraft which most politicians have two or three cannot be purchased by a state…
          It will aid quick movement and facilitate easy access of agents to crisis area to arrest the situation immediately at the command of a state government.
          Another point I want to make is ,the state government is closer to his people than a president.
          He knows their grievances because it is government at the grassroot…

          • PolyGon2013

            I could not have explained this any better. Thanks for your input. Have a nice day.

    • Pawa2

      I support a decentralised police force but I think you are dreaming. Many states simply don’t have the opportunity to optimise revenue. The notion that a chief executive will become less corrupt because he now has a police force is debatable. In fact you can argue that he/she will become more corrupt, because he would then control the police that would have investigated him/her. For those states that cannot afford to fund a separate police force, a combined force with one or more neighbouring states or a Zonal police are options.

      • thisnigeria

        Now you’re talking. The present situation is not working. Just as the governor said, let those who can go ahead and those who cannot leave it to the federal government. It is all about true federalism. All fingers are not equal.

      • Opekete

        I am not saying that the state police will stop the governors from being corrupt. I am saying that when people directly finance most of the state project including their own security through the police, there will be popular uprising whenever any governor mismanaged the commonwealth.

        • Pawa2

          I know what you said but I am saying it is not as straightforward. You need to prove first of all that the governor has mismanaged commonwealth. What is true, though, is that the security of the state will become part of the governor’s accountability and will become part of the state’s campaign issues. A sitting governor can then (also) win or lose based on his/her performance on security.

  • PolyGon2013

    Wrong, Mr. Commissioner. Whatever money FG is allocating to police each state now will be handed over to that state. Then let them run the system as they fit or generate more money internally to increase their funding. State police is the way to go.

    • Pawa2

      It will never work like that. You are saying the FG should make the budget for the police but handover the money to the states. Who will then be accountable for how the money is spent. Also, if the FG shared the money currently budgeted for the Police amongst the states, it will not be sufficient, because many positions and infrastructure provision will be repeated many times.
      Although I want a decentralised police, the Commissioner is right. The combined price for running individual state police will be much higher than that for running a centralised police and some states will not be able to afford it. If we want state police the states should start thinking of how to fund it. In the UK the local police is funded from council (local government) taxes and States may have to source some of the funding from local taxation. Many states are already struggling to raise taxes for the day to day running of the state. Another solution is for two or more states to combine to combine to have one police force or opt for a Zonal police force.

      • PolyGon2013

        I can understand what you mean by having 2 or more states together. Believe me my friend, it is going to work. If any state wants to merge, that is fine. Each state can generate enough money to complement whatever their are getting from FG. In fact, FG does not have to allocate money for police to each state. All that FG needs to do is to reduce its share and increase whatever share goes to states. FG has too much responsibilities. This is why they are having too much problems. When I was growing up, we have local police, and it was safe then, compared to now. If state governors cannot run its own security, then, we don’t need one. Every area of government should then be turned over to FG.

        • Pawa2

          I think you misunderstand some of my post. Importantly, I never said state police will not work and I did not say the FG will allocate police money to states. Anyway, good luck.

          • PolyGon2013

            Ok., I hear you. One thing is clear, we both meant well for our great country, Nigeria. Have a nice day.

    • Tosin

      And you really trust our governors to sincerely deploy the funds to policing their states, what have the governors been doing with their monthly allocation, what do states have to show for billions shared monthly. State governments are the only cadre of Nigerians who get their allocation as at when due, how have they treated their workers despite that; you really want to entrust your safety & security unto governors!

      • PolyGon2013

        Maybe we do not need a governor then! Perhaps we only need a President. If any governor does not want to spend money on criminals or generate money to fund security, he doesn’t have a state. The place will be overrun by the criminals. Trust me my friend, local policing is a better option. When I was growing up in Nigeria, we did have local policing and it was very safe then, compared to what we have now. Once there is devolution of power to the states, believe me, the citizens will challenge their governors. I believe that we have good people in each state of Nigeria. May God bless us all.

  • Pluti

    I differ cos 10MW of government funded solar generation, security loans can get equipments. Paying should be the headache of government because they are responsible for the Security even the broadband is a lucky modern incentive for communication from FG

  • JasV

    Can you hear the police armed robber talking? Can this thief mention which state in Canada handed over its police to federal government because of funding? Does this rogue even know where Canada is in the map of the world? Is Canada the only country in the world practicing state policing? What of the other successful ones? YEYE ANIMAL.