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State Police: Your Position Unacceptable, Lagos Assembly Tells IGP Egbetokun

The Lagos State House of Assembly has kicked against the position of the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Olukayode Egbetokun, that Nigeria is not ripe for the establishment of state police.

Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, directed the Clerk of the House, Barr. Olalekan Onafeko, to write the Inspector-General and the National Assembly stating that the state lawmakers reject Egbetokun’s position.

Recall that the IGP, represented at a recently held one-day dialogue on state policing, themed, ‘Pathways to Peace: Reimagining Policing in Nigeria’, opposed the establishment of state police, arguing that it would increase ethnic tension and cause divided loyalty in states of the federation.

The IGP also suggested that the Federal Road Safety Corps and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps be merged with the police force.

However, speaking at plenary on Monday, Dr. Obasa, who noted that the FRSC and the NSCDC have not been able to solve the problems of accidents on roads and pipeline vandalism respectively, wondered how effective they would be if they are merged with the police force.

“In Lagos State, we have the Security Trust Fund through which successive administrations starting from that of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu have provided enormous support to the police command in Lagos State. Yet, crime of different dimensions has continued.

“This shows that no matter what Egbetokun has proffered as solution, such won’t solve our problem. The position of the IGP is unacceptable.

“We strongly believe that if we have state police, we would be able to solve the issues of crime in our nation or reduce it to the minimum.

“As we have seen in other climes, the United Kingdom has different levels of policing just like the United States of America. So why should ours be different?

“The lives of our people are very important and we must do everything possible to make sure we protect lives and property. We want to state categorically that we believe in state police and we want to urge the National Assembly to continue with its intendment to establish state police through the process of constitutional amendment,” Obasa said while praising President Tinubu for his resolve to end insecurity in the country.

Commending the Speaker for his stand on the issue of state police, the lawmaker representing Badagry Constituency 1, argued that with its current structure, it would be difficult for the Nigeria Police Force to effectively secure the country.

Also declaring his support for state police, another lawmaker, Hon. Sa’ad Olumoh (Ajeromi/Ifelodun 1), said each Nigerian state currently has a local security outfit in the semblance of state police.

“Today, which state does not have state police one way or the other? This is a cause that should be supported. For the IG to come out and say state police is not in the interest of Nigeria shows he is not considering the reality of insecurity on Nigerians,” he said.

Eromosele Ebhomele
Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly.

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