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State Police will be used to harass people of other tribes, says Zulum

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BORNO State Governor Babagana Zulum has kicked state policing, saying Nigeria is not yet matured for it.

Zulum said this while delivering a lecture at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Plateau State, on Thursday.

He noted that a decentralised Police system would complicate security challenges in the country. He feared that elected governors might use it to harass and intimidate people of other tribes.

“Honestly speaking, I, Babagana Zulum, will not support it, not because I don’t like it, but because of the implications,” he said.

“Nigeria is not mature for state Police. Some state governors can use it to wipe away other tribes apart from their tribes.

“So, we have to be very careful. If half of the power given to the Nigeria Army, Police and others are given to state Police, Nigeria will be in problem.”

The governor’s comments are coming weeks after a bill seeking to amend the 1999 Constitution to accommodate the creation of state police has passed the second reading at the House of Representatives.

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The bill entitled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, to Give Legal Backing to State Security Outfit to Complement the Nigeria Police Force,’ was sponsored by Anthony Afe from Delta State.

It seeks to decentralise the current Police structure in the country by moving policing from the Exclusive List of the constitution to the Concurrent List.

Zulum’s statement also came when there have been persistent calls from Nigerians, security stakeholders and state governors from the southern region to amend the constitution to make provisions for state policing to address the country’s numerous security challenges.

The constitutional amendment process is ongoing at the National Assembly.

Faced with the urgency to provide security for their people and arrest the looming crisis of clashes between farmers and herders, governors from the South-West region of the country moved in 2020 to create a regional security outfit codenamed ‘Amotekun.’ The South-East governors also created ‘Ebube Agu.’

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