State Governors across the country have renewed their interest in the need for State police in the country.
The Governors under the umbrella of the Nigeria Governors Forum expressed their demand for the establishment of state police while meeting with the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim K. Idris at the Presidential Villa.
In June 2012, the NGF, which was then headed by Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi, called for the establishment of State Police claiming they would help in combating the rising insecurities in the country.
In July of the same year, 19 northern states withdrew the motion except Jonah Jang of Plateau State. A month after, President Goodluck Jonathan and the former Inspectors-General of Police had a meeting and in the end, opposed the creation of State Police on the argument that it will be a tool in the hands of political leaders at the state level.
To express their demand, NGF set up a six-man committee, which consists of Governors from the six geo political zones. They are Governors of Kwara, Ekiti, Imo, Delta, Bauchi and Sokoto.
While addressing the media at the meeting, the forum Chairman, Governor Abdul-Aziz Yari of Zamfara state said the committee is expected to “find ways of policing in Nigeria”.
The IGP had explained during the meeting with the Governors that the police is faced with critical and operational funding challenges which also include the stagnation of the Police Trust Fund bill in the National Assembly. Nigeria does not yet have the maturity for State police, he said. He suggests that the country should rather improve the funding of the Police Force under its current arrangement. He reasoned that Federal Police arrangement is still the best for the country and with improved funding, the challenges of crime detection and prevention can be properly addressed.
The IGP further pleaded with the Governors to render their support to facilitate the Trust fund Bill quickly. He later told reporters that the Governors are highly concerned with the state of security in the country and they promised to render their support in tackling the challenges.
On the 27th of September, 2016, the State Police Bill passed the second reading at the House of Representatives. However, media reports indicate that the Senate and House Committee on Constitution Review jointly rejected the bill seeking to allow the 36 States of the Federation have their own Police.
Speaking to reporters, the Spokesman of the House, Abdulrasak Namdas said
“it’s not every bill that come to the floor of the house and passes second reading eventually sees the light of the day”.
The spokesman of the Senate also said to the reporters that the creation of the State Police was not part of the issues considered in the just concluded amendment of the 1999 constitution by the legislators.