For the country to effectively tackle the enormous security challenges facing the country, a state police force is a necessity, according to the Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
The party said that with the gross failure of the Nigeria Police Force to rise to the widespread security challenges in the country, opposition to state police was waning and the idea should be given due attention.
In a statement in Lagos by the Lagos State Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Joe Igbokwe, the party said that with each opposition to the idea of state police, various challenges arise each day to answer those who do not want the idea to see the light of the day. It advises that no further delay be tolerated in putting the idea into practice.
The statement noted: “When Lagos started and sustained the campaign for state police, our concern then was to have enough well trained capacity to deal with the challenges of ensuring the security of lives and property in a complex state as Lagos. We note that many Nigerians opposed this on clearly partisan reasons and not on the demerits of the demand. We, however, note that with the widespread state of insecurity pervading the country at present, many of those that fiercely opposed the idea of state police have come to see the great and urgent need for it and have become fierce campaigners of the policy.
“We note that through the hard work and proactive inclination of the Lagos State government, the security challenges that prompted the demand for state police in Lagos have been contained while newer theaters of insecurity have arisen to give fillip to the demand. We therefore state that there is a national demand for state police as a panacea for the expanding state of insecurity facing Nigeria at present.
“We demand that as an experiment, state police should be tried in Lagos and two other cities for a period of 10 years and from there, Nigerians will determine the viability or otherwise of the idea of state police. We are saying this because we are mindful of the fact that if Lagos is given such opportunity, the state will build the most efficient, most functional, most responsive, most active and most proactive police force in Africa.”
The statement added: “Lagos ACN wants to state, for the umpteenth time, that the present Nigeria Police are bogged down by monumental problems ranging from redundancy, inadequate training, dearth of equipment, nepotism, incompetence and weal control. These have made the police grossly incompetent to deal with the security problems that are staring Nigeria today. A situation where control of state commands of the Nigerian Police still rests in a central command in Abuja is counterproductive to tackling the security problems of the country at present. We state that a situation where policemen who have little or no knowledge of their operational terrain and culture can only lead to the poor security harvest we are having at present.”
According to ACN, a state security structure will allow respective states to recruit and post policemen to areas they have clear knowledge of the culture and terrain, which are very necessary in tracking crimes and dealing with them.
“We believe that states are more knowledgeable and more competent in dealing with localised crimes in their given areas. We believe that every crime is committed within a given local milieu and are best approached from localised perspectives hence the urgent need for state police if we must effectively deal with the rising security challenges in Nigeria today. We hope those who oppose the idea because of sundry reasons will come to the realisation that the benefits outweigh the risks and support it for the good of all Nigerians.”