By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Christiana Ekpa
Following the security summit organized by the Senate where there was an overwhelming call for creation of State Police as a measure to address the frequent clashes between farmers and herdsmen, the red chamber will commence legislation to move police from exclusive list to concurrent list.
Recall that before now, police had been placed on exclusive list by the Constitution, which makes it difficult to states who have the wherewithal to establish their own state police structure, in addition to the federal police.
However, with the riding cases of insecurity across the country, in which many lives were lost, the senate was at a security summit it held in Abuja, inundated with every required reasons and encouragement to amend the Act establishing the Nigeria Police Force, to enable states partake in ownership of state police.
According to the Chairman the Nigeria Governors Forum, Abubakar Yari, who briefed journalists after the summit, the issue of state police was agreed on by the governors during the constitutional amendment.
He said at a later time when the Forum divided into two, some governors played to the gallery, adding “Today, we have reiterated the position of the Vice President on the security summit we held in August that there is a need for state police.
“And we can say it is only the answer. The police of today are inadequate so if we look at the ratio, it is far below international standard. Therefore, we in the Forum agreed that we can find a way that we can fine-tune the issue of State police”, he said.
He said that the state police will not be compulsory but optional for those states who can afford the cost, adding that those who cannot afford it will continue to rely on federal police, thereby freeing more personnel for the states that cannot afford the state police.
Meanwhile, in a communique issued at the end of the summit, the senate said Nigerians should expect more tighter security for their lives and property after the summit.
The communique signed by the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, said the senate looked to use the data and information from proceedings to improve the security sector through legislative intervention and advocacy.
He also promised that Nigerians should expect positive collaboration of this kind between the executive and the legislature, even as he commended those who made contributions to the summit.
He said the essence of the summit was to assure Nigerians that all the arms of government are committed to addressing insecurity and working collaboratively to find lasting and immediate solution to the security threats in the country.