Time is ripe for State Police

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Nigerians that are futuristic have been agitating for the creation of state police for decades. Ever before criminality became out blown, they saw it coming. They wanted to prevent its emergence. For this, they felt state police was the solution to rising kidnap cases, rape,banditry, protection of criminals because of ethnic and religious sentiment among others.

For few reasons, the Federal Government has opposed State Police vehemently particularly for fear of being hijacked by political leaders and governors to intimidate and harass political opponents

When in the real sense of it, criminal activities became so pronounced, some southern states began to clamour for state owned police, but the federal government would not give in.

Against all odds and oddities, on the 9th of January, 2020, all the South Western states came together to establish “Western Nigeria Security Network,” called  “Operation Amotekun” (Corps) with the headquarters at Ibadan, Oyo State.

All the states government regardless of the party affiliations stood as one. They had only one thing in mind, “zero tolerance to crime.” The Corps was made up of specifically hired local hunters, members of vigilante groups for the creation of AMOTEKUN.

On February 6, same year, a Coalition of Northern Group launched Operation “Shege Ka Fasa” Security Outfit, in swift response to their western counterpart. The group during the launching in Kaduna State said the security outfit was aimed at protecting the lives and property of citizens in the region.

Much later, some South Eastern States came together to form “Ebubeagu Security Network.” But  unlike the Amotekun, ESN has been plunged into series of crises, owing to the fact that all member states are not in agreement.

It’s an established fact that Nigeria does not have the required number of police personnel. It’s not certain the federal government has the wherewithal to recruit enough personnel in the face of this economic crisis.

In the United States whose democracy we emulate, there is the state police as well as the federal police.

The police man from Zamfara State for instance, cannot function in Ogun State the way an indigene would function. He is not familiar with the terrains. An indigene knows the hideouts of the criminals.

There are different schools of thought concerning the issue. There is the one that believes that states do not have the funds to finance police. Another opines that there would be incessant conflicts between them and their federal counterparts.

It’s a truism that the Amotekun in the west has not got what it takes to police the states adequately, considering the level of sophistication of crimes in the land. All the same, their achievements so far cannot be overemphasized.

The question that comes to mind is, “who is afraid of state police?” Again, what is the reason for the fear?

Perhaps, the fear is fizzling. We have lost too much to criminality. But it was avoidable. As much as it’s late, it’s never too late.

Now that the Northern Governors Forum has given its nod, as expressed in a communiqué issued recently, the coast is becoming clearer. All we need to do now is to set the machine on motion for its actualization.

State Police is the way forward with more benefits  to restore peace, restore investors confidence, ensure crime free society, eliminate criminals on our roads and communities.