Bill on state police scales second reading at the House of Reps 

A BILL for creating state police has scaled a second reading at the House of Representatives.

The bill, sponsored by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Benjamin Kalu and 14 others, seeks to alter the relevant sections of the 1999 Constitution to pave the way for states to establish their police forces across the country.

During Tuesday’s plenary session of the House, lawmakers took turns contributing to the debate on the House floor.

Kalu, who stood in for the Speaker, Tajudeenm Abbas, encouraged members to put Nigerians’ safety above political aspirations. 


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A member, Babajimi Benson, who also contributed to the debate, said it was the job of the police to maintain law and order. 

“We have a population of over 200 million people, but we have a police strength that is less than 400,000. State police should be created to address the internal security challenges of Nigeria,” Benson stated.

The ICIR reported on February 16 that the Federal Government and state governors agreed on creating state police.

This was part of the outcome of a meeting between President Bola Tinubu and state governors at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday, February 15.

Minister of Information and National Orientation Mohammed Idris disclosed this to reporters after the meeting.

He said the process was still in its early stages and would take shape after further discussions.

The ICIR reports that there have been calls for state police in response to the country’s growing security concerns.

Kidnapping and banditry are two security issues Nigeria has struggled with in recent years after over a decade of fighting terrorism.

On Monday, February 13, governors elected on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform reiterated their support for state police to address the nation’s deteriorating security. The governors lamented that Nigeria “is almost on the road to Venezuela.”

While Nigerian governors have been pushing for state police, regional groups in the country have established security outfits to complement the Federal Government-funded police and other security institutions in the country.






     

     

    The South-East launched Ebube Agu, the South-West created Amotekun, and the North founded “Shege Ka Fasa”. 

    However, it appears that only Amotekun has fully taken shape among the outfits.

    In addition to the regional outfits, some states, including Benue, Zamfara, and Kano, have created vigilantes or constabularies to protect their people further.

    The ICIR reported that over 5,000 Nigerians were killed in President Bola Tinubu’s first seven months in office, underscoring worsening insecurity under his watch.

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