16 Governors Endorse State Police – NEC

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In a bid to address Nigeria’s escalating security challenges, 16 state governors have supported the establishment of state police.

Naija News reports that the development was revealed in a report presented to the National Economic Council (NEC) during its 140th meeting, which was conducted virtually under the chairmanship of Vice President Kashim Shettima.

The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu, shared this information with State House Correspondents in a virtual briefing following the council meeting.

While 20 state governors and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) administrator have yet to submit their positions, the governors in favor also advocated for a comprehensive review of the Nigerian Constitution to possibly facilitate this change.

The push for state police comes in response to the dire security situation in the country, marked by rampant kidnapping, banditry, and other forms of criminality that have overstretched the capabilities of the federal police force.

The NEC also deliberated on the findings of the ad-hoc committee on Crude Oil Theft Prevention and Control, led by Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State.

The committee’s report highlighted the critical areas of oil leakage in the industry and recommended the necessity of political will to enact meaningful reforms.

The advocacy for state policing has been a long-standing demand from various quarters, including governors from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who, as early as February 12, had reiterated their stance that state policing is crucial for combating the country’s deteriorating security landscape.

Similarly, regional socio-political organizations such as Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Middle Belt Forum, and the Northern Elders’ Forum have consistently called for the introduction of state police as a solution to the nation’s security woes.

However, in a bid to address the worries of rising insecurity, states in the South-West have established the Amotekun security outfit, while the South-East introduced Ebube Agu.

The North Central state of Benue has launched the Benue Guards, and states plagued by banditry, like Katsina and Zamfara, have also created their security formations.

Despite these efforts, the effectiveness of these regional security outfits has been limited due to the lack of federal backing, particularly in terms of authorization to carry assault rifles like AK-47s, which is deemed necessary to combat heavily armed criminals.

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