By Ese Awhotu with agency report
Pan-Northern socio-political organisation, Arewa Consultative Forum, has rejected the creation of state police.
The Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, has expressed fears that if the state police get fully approved, sitting governors would use it to persecute opposition in states.
“Given the experiences where state governments use state electoral commissions and kill democracy at local government levels where no opposition party wins a seat in the local government council, there is the high possibility of state governments abusing state police with dire consequences, especially in states with many ethnic groups and religions,” the group said in a statement by its Secretary General, Anthony Sani on Monday.
Recall that, both Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF had called for the creation of state police.
Osinbajo who spoke at a recent security summit organised by the Nigerian Senate was of the view that it was possible to police a country the size of Nigeria centrally from Abuja, noting that state police and other community policing methods are clearly the way to go.
Osinbajo had said, ““For a country our size, to meet the one policeman to 400 persons according to the UN prescribed ratio, we would require almost triple the number of our current police force. Far more funding for the military and security agencies is required,” adding that “The nature of our security challenges are complex. Securing Nigeria’s over 900sq/km and its 180 million people requires far more men and materials than we have at the moment. It also requires a continual re-engineering of our security architecture and strategies. This has to be a dynamic process.”
However, ACF has argued that , the problems of police lie in the lack of training, equipment and insufficient personnel.
The forum also added that these problems could not be solved through the multiplication of security agencies.
The ACF therefore expressed its opposition to the creation of state police.
The pan-Northern socio-political organisation noted that the creation of state police, as endorsed by the 36 state governors and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, was a recipe for more crises.