‘National Assembly will endorse state police’

Gyang Pwajok

The National Assembly will back the establishment of state police as recommended by the recently-concluded National Conference, Gyang Pwajok, a senator from Plateau State said Tuesday.

Mr. Pwajok told the News Agency of Nigeria in Jos that one major feat the conference achieved was its acceptance of the need for states to establish their own security outfits.

“This is in view of current threats and realities,” he said. “Such recommendation is no doubt in tandem with what analysts have always suggested as the best way to tackle peculiar security challenges faced by various states.”

Mr. Pwajok said the approval of the proposal by delegates, cutting across regional divide, had shown a dramatic shift as regions which had initially opposed state police endorsed it.

“The general approval of state police showed a change in perception; it has dawned on many Nigerians that tackling grassroots crime cannot be effectively handled under a centralised policing system.

“For us on the Plateau, the state police formation holds a special place because of our hills and mountains,” he said. “Attackers had always hit and run into hills, but if we have local people that know that terrain as the security men, they could be pursued.’’

He dismissed the argument that the state police could be abused by the governors.

The senator explained that there was nothing to be afraid of since the policy had been tried in other federal structures and found to be successful.

Mr. Pwajok observed that governors that initially opposed the move had local security outfits.

He pointed out that legalising state police could give such outfits the legal cover to protect the people while complementing the central police force.

The senator, however, urged the Federal Government to assist the states to provide such complementary efforts, noting that such assistance would be crucial to neutralising the teething problems the new bodies might face.

Mr. Pwajok, however, expressed reservation over the creation of new states and criticised the “very sweeping manner’’ the conference members looked at the exercise.

“Creating new states will mean fragmenting the already fragmented smaller units which could weaken them and make for a stronger centre which we have always feared.

“Worldwide, meagre nations are emerging after mergers of units; we should be emulating such steps toward stronger, bigger and united groups rather tearing into smaller units,’’ he said.

The senator also opposed the recommendation to delist local governments, saying that they should be left alone but placed directly under states to be run as local units.

“My suggestion is that the Federal Government should not fund local governments. There are some local governments that do not merit that status because they were randomly created.

“You also remember that local and state governments run joint accounts, which in effect means that they are one and the same.

“So, placing the local governments directly under the states will not be anything new.’’

On the conference’s recommendation for the removal of immunity for state governors, he suggested that the clause should be left as it is.

“If you leave the governors vulnerable, they will be distracted by all manners of litigations; many governors have always faced legal actions after office and I think that is okay.

“The governors should be allowed to keep their immunity while in office so that they will not use such distractions as reasons for poor performance,’’ he said.

(NAN)


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  • redeem

    what did the national confab endorse concerning the ongoing crisis-between the fulanis and native boroms—-that is not any of your worries abi

    • solomonlas

      Why will he bother slave always a slave.

      Why don’t the national assembly endorse the autonomy of local government as demanded.

  • amazing2012

    A good one !

  • Abu

    state police will be the biggest mistake of Nigerian senate

    • Denis_NG

      Kindly explain why state police will be a mistake? Remember, the only thing that remains constant in life is change. Nigeria has never had a state police under the current dispensation, how then could you conclude that implementing it will be a mistake? You can’t just make pronouncements without academic facts. Nigeria needs a complete paradigm change for things to turn around from the present sorry state the country is in.

  • fred

    Some states owe workers salaries running into months…how do they expect to run a police outfit?. They should provide good governance first and the rest will fall into place.

  • Bayo Ola

    Mr. Ogunlela,
    Thank you for this briliant article. Yours is the most brilliant contribution to this topic. The best I have ever read so far. It covers and dwells on both sides of the story: what the governors did right, his good intentions with collateral damage, and his other unintended mistakes that were made in good faith. Your article is not only intellectually sound, but addresses the main issues that caused the financial crisis in Osun state. Prior to reading yours, as a Yoruba man who has a “dog in the fight” I have been worried why the focus has often been on Aregbesola alone when the federal govt owes its employees; and there are about 18 states that are owing the public servants in their states. Some of these states like Abia, Enugu and Benue states even owe more than Osun state owes. Many people forgot that PDP led government wanted to damage Osun state financially hence the reduction of the state monthly allocation prior to the elections. Same PDP government refunded ecological funds to Ekiti state once Fayose won the election and denied Osun state such gestures the state merits. Available facts show that Media onslaught against Aregbesola was sponsored by the same PDP agents who wanted to get through the back door, what they cannot get through the front door during the last election.
    I must hasten to add that one understands the pains of the workers and every effort must be made by the governor to pay them by the end of this month as he promised. But to politicize this issue as some people have been doing is not only mischievous but painfully laughable; it is condemnable. Aregbesola is a target for many reasons such as his: leadership styles; his unflinching loyalty to his party; his loyalty to his mentor, Bola Tinubu, and due to many other factors that elicit envy from his adversaries. Facts remain: Aregbesola is a transformation leader that takes risk to elevate the state of Osun. Either his enemy likes it or not history will be fair to Aregbesola. He is a real Omoluabi.

  • tonireal

    Well, I think from this, the man deserves a better hearing and certainly a second chance. His state has not been fairly treated, obviously.