By Lawrence Olaoye
The National Conference sitting in Abuja yesterday broke a generational jinx with a resolution that henceforth, any state of the federation desirous of having a State Police Force can establish, fund and control it.
In a press statement issued yesterday, signed by the Assistant Secretary, Media and Communication, Akpandem James, the resolution, when enacted into law would put to rest the long debate and controversies over the establishment of state police. The state police when established by states that desired them are to complement the efforts of the Nigeria Police Force.
The areas of jurisdiction of the Federal Police will cover the entire country and on clearly spelt out matters and offences, while the jurisdiction of the State Police will cover the state and operate within the laws enacted by the State Assembly.
The conference also resolved that in addition to establishing state police, states laws should also provide for community policing. The decisions were made while considering the report of the Committee on National security.
The Conference agreed with the report of the Committee that state governors should be involved in the running of the Federal Police in their respective states. It was also agreed that officers of the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police in the Federal Police should be deployed to their states of origin.
It was reasoned that this will address the concern of language and culture, as this group of officers actually constitute the operational component of the force.
To make the police more people-friendly, the conference called for the amendment of section 214 of the 1999 Constitution so that the Nigeria Police Force will be called The Nigeria Police.