Nigeria not matured enough for State Police – IGP


Inspector General of Police Opposes State Police Bill, Cites Nigeria’s Maturity Level

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Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, expressed reservations about the proposed state police bill, asserting that Nigeria isn’t yet prepared for decentralized policing.

Speaking on Monday at a national dialogue on state police convened by the Nigerian House of Representatives at the Intercontinental Hotel (formerly Sheraton Hotel) in Abuja, Egbetokun, represented by Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Ben Okolo, underscored his stance.

The theme of the dialogue, ‘Pathways to Peace: Re-imagining Policing in Nigeria,’ framed discussions around the topic.

“The leadership of the Nigeria Police Force submits that Nigeria has yet to mature for the establishment of state-controlled police,” he stated, adding that the renewed clamor for state police amid heightened insecurity nationwide is premature.

Egbetokun highlighted that on February 15, the federal government initiated a committee to explore state police creation, with a bill to establish it passing second reading at the House of Representatives on February 20.

Rather than advocate for state police, Egbetokun advocated for addressing challenges hampering effective policing in Nigeria, such as inadequate manpower, operational equipment, and training, among others.

He cautioned against potential abuse of power by state governors if state police were established, noting the risk of political manipulation and jurisdictional conflicts.

To bolster policing, Egbetokun proposed merging the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) into a police department, alongside increasing annual police recruitment by at least 30,000 to meet UN policing standards.

Contrary to Egbetokun’s stance, Minister of Police Affairs Ibrahim Gaidam supported the establishment of state police, arguing that a more decentralized approach could address rising insecurity effectively.

“As we gather here today, our objective is clear: to explore ways and means of addressing these issues, including the possibility of establishing a state police force to combat crises,” Gaidam remarked, advocating for local empowerment through state police.

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Adeniyi Ogunfowoke
Adeniyi Ogunfowoke
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