State Police: 20 Governors’ Resolutions Ready For NEC Next Month – NGF

by Ohepo Ohepo

Within the following four weeks, the remaining 20 state governors are anticipated to submit their opinions about the proposed creation of a state police force.

In an exclusive interview with Sunday PUNCH on Friday, Asishana Okauru, the Director-General of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, stated as much.

Prior to this, sixteen state governors had endorsed the creation of state police as a solution to the widespread insecurity that was plaguing the nation.

In a previous statement, Stanley Nwkocha, the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media and Communication, revealed that talks took place during a National Economic Council meeting and that sixteen of the thirty-six states had already turned in their reports regarding the state policing initiative.

At the 140th meeting of the NEC, which took place on March 21, 2024, at the Aso Rock Villa, reports from the sixteen governors were presented.

Nwkocha emphasised that all 20 governors, whose names were withheld, were expected to submit their reports as well. She stated that every state in the nation has declared its support for the creation of state police.

In a phone call with one of our correspondents, Okauru clarified that all of the governors agreed to keep the state police in place.

The remaining 20 governors, he continued, were already working on submitting their reports and would do so in a few weeks.

He claimed that following the most recent meeting of the NGF, it was evident that the governors needed to expedite “whatever report they were putting together in respect of state police and submit it.”

“The forum’s official stance is in support of state police,” he declared. There are no states that I am aware of that oppose state police. I can confirm that I am aware of no state that opposes the proposal. The governors’ failure to submit their reports thus far does not imply that they oppose the state police.

“They are currently filing their reports, and I can guarantee that within the next several weeks, the issue will have been fixed. There isn’t another option. The forum has advanced significantly. Consequently, there is broad support for state police.

When asked if money would be a significant obstacle for the state police, the director-general of the NGF stated that the government has to start considering creative ways to finance the nation’s security framework.

“Funding remains a problem notwithstanding the configuration of the police structure. Thus, the problem of funding will never go away. The police institution generates some revenue in certain other nations. You know, it may be a source of income. You know that everyone will agree to it if it’s done well, after all. Let’s acknowledge that money will always be a problem, regardless of whether state police or central administration handles it.

“It’s important to emphasise that the idea hasn’t taken off just because some states haven’t sent in their reports. After the most recent meeting, it was abundantly evident that they had to expedite the completion and submission of the state police report they were working on. Consequently, it should be finished in no more than four weeks, he continued.

On Thursday, February 15, 2024, President Bola Tinubu concurred that state governors’ recommendations to create a state police force were necessary to stop the nation’s growing level of instability.

Following a meeting between the president and the governors at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, this was revealed to State House media by Mohammed Idris, the minister of information and national orientation.

He said there will be more discussion about the potential of setting up a state police establishment.

He went on to say that a great deal of work remained to be done and that the governors and the president had decided to iron out the details of the plan.

The President suggested in October 2023 that the police force’s current strength of slightly over 300,000 should be increased.

Following his chairing of the Nigeria Police Council conclave, Tinubu established the Constitutional Review Committee with the goal of implementing extensive police reforms.

The National Political Reform Conference of 2014 suggested community policing and letting states establish their own police forces as ways to devolve policing.

Nevertheless, despite the country’s security deteriorating throughout both administrations, former President Goodluck Jonathan, who called for the 2014 conference, and his successor, Muhammadu Buhari, failed to put the suggestions into practice.

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