Amidst the worsening insecurity in the country, governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday called on the federal government to decentralise the police and facilitate the establishment of state police to give states’ helmsmen the legal backing to combat the menace.
The PDP governors, rising from a meeting, said in a communiqué issued Wednesday by the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum and Governor of Sokoto State, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, that community police, being promoted by the federal government to weaken the clamour for state police, would not be effective in checking insecurity.
The forum, in the communiqué, said it “strongly recommended the decentralisation of the Nigeria Police Force and the imperative introduction of the state police in Nigeria, as one of the solutions to stem the tide of insecurity ravaging the country.”
The forum urged President Muhammadu Buhari to convene a consultative meeting of the Nigeria Police Council to appoint an Inspector-General of Police whether in acting or permanent capacity as envisaged under the 1999 Constitution.
According to the forum, the Nigeria Police Force as an institution is a common service agency for all tiers of government, explaining that that is why the Nigeria Police Council is made up of the president as chairman, 36 state governors, Chairman of Police Service Commission (PSC) and Inspector-General of Police as members.
The PDP governors added that the council is the constitutionally designated forum for discussion of security matters in the country, particularly with respect to policing.
The governors said the newly-introduced community policing infrastructure was being implemented more in breach.
“The current Nigeria Police Act envisaged that community policing should serve as a decentralised measure of grassroots policing and various roles were assigned to various parties, including the governors of the states.
“Unfortunately, in the constitution and operationalisation of the community policing activities in the various states so far, partisanship has taken over the recruitment process. We no longer have faith in the neutrality and capacity of the community policing system to serve the purposes envisaged under the new Police Act. We, therefore, call on the police authorities to sanitise the system,” the PDP governors said.
On the Electoral Act, the communiqué said the meeting deliberated on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill pending before the National Assembly and urged the National Assembly to expedite action on its passage.
According to the governors, this is necessary in order to avoid the pitfalls that befell the amendment process in the eighth National Assembly, when Buhari vetoed the bill on the grounds, among others, that the amendment came too late.
The PDP governors also congratulated the newly-appointed service chiefs and recommended the complete overhaul of the national security architecture.
The governors also congratulated Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her emergence as the director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and wished her well in her new assignment.
They urged her to use her new office to facilitate trade and investment between Nigeria and other countries.
The PDP governors that attended the meeting were Tambuwal, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, Senator Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, Senator Duoye Diri of Bayelsa State, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, Mr. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Chief Darius Ishaku of Taraba State, and Deputy Governor of Benue State, Mr. Benson Abounu.