Fear of losing their dominance of the Nigeria Police Force has been cited as the major reason behind the sudden change of mind by northern governors over the introduction of state police.
It will be recalled that at the meeting of the governors of the 36 states in Abuja last month, all the governors opted for state police as a panacea for ending rising insecurity in the country.
However, the 19 northern governors met a few days after and kicked against the idea of state police, saying that they were ready to work with the existing police force.
A source close to one of the governors told Vanguard that the northern governors were afraid that their dwindling financial position would not permit the funding of state police like their Southern counterparts, who they claim had more funds than them.
The source, which was in attendance at last week’s meeting of the Governors’ Forum in Abuja, said: “The governors do not want to plunge themselves into what they cannot adequately sustain and they do not also want to lose what they consider as their leading position in the Nigeria Police Force.
“During last Tuesday’s meeting they made their position very clear that they would continue to work with the NPF to contain insecurity in their respective domains.”
It was gathered that the northern governors had opted to present a common position to the federal government on how best to tackle insecurity in the country.
“They believe that the best way to ensure adequate security in all the states is for the federal government to allow commissioners of police to be controlled by the respective governors so that they can take orders from the state executives. But the governors of the Southern states are reported to have insisted that they would press ahead with state police, hoping to embark on serious campaign to convince some of their northern counterparts to change their minds before their next meeting.
It was learnt that while most of the governors would not support the growing agitation for more states, they were however in support of the rotation of governorship posts among the people of the 109 senatorial districts in the country to give a sense of belonging to all Nigerians.
They reasoned that if rotational governorship was introduced, it would eliminate the domination of most states by certain ethnic groups to the detriment of the weaker ones. The source said that Benue and Kogi states were used as examples of states were the minority groups could never rule the states without a rotational arrangement for the political offices in those states.