AFENIFERE AND BORNO GOV FIGHT OVER STATE POLICE
The governor of Borno state, Nigeria says current govs ’ll grossly abuse state police
Meanwhile, in the midst of the clamour for state police due to the rising insecurity, the governor has said even though state policing is a good idea, it will be a bad idea to implement it now because governors will grossly abuse it.
He said the problems it would create would be more than what is being faced at the moment, adding that it could also cause division.
Zulum stated, “Given the current insecurity challenges in the country and the escalation of banditry, policing becomes another issue that needs closer attention for the purpose of strengthening its efficiency across national spectrum.
“There are already calls for state policing, but let me be very clear here that while the idea of state policing might be altruistic and in fact desirable, I Babagana Zulum do not support state policing. The reason is very simple. State police will further polarise an already fragile system and disintegrate further our weak national unity.
“For the sake of national unity, I will not advise the creation of state police. It’s not yet time for us to have it, but as time goes on, the idea of having state police is very good. I’m entitled to my opinion.”
But in his contribution, the spokesperson for the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Mr Yinka Odumakin, disagreed with the governor on the issue of state police. He said though there might be abuse by governors, measures to check it should rather be put in place, noting that the federal police in operation was also being abused. “We cannot have state governors who do not have the capacity to enforce their own laws .”
In his response, Zulum said he had no doubt that state police would be useful, but that the timing wasn’t right yet.
He added, “For now, if the powers over the police are vested in the governors, I’m afraid that such powers may be abused grossly. Yes, in Borno State we have insurgency crisis, which has triggered acute humanitarian and post-displacement crisis, but I’m looking at the country in general rather than my state.
“I’m not saying state police is bad, but looking at the calibre of governors we have now, not excluding myself, if we have state police now, it will be subject to very serious gross abuse. Believe me sincerely, if care is not taken, the situation will be worse than what we have now.
“If the opportunity is given for us to have state police, no state can benefit from it like Borno State because of the insecurity, but I openly objected because of the calibre of people we have in this country. Being the governor of Borno State is not easy. When I assumed office as the governor, within my 55 days in office, I saw my children three times only. It’s not easy.”