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Sumaila Kawu: I Don’t Support Afenifere’s Call For Executive Order on State Police, It Won’t Work

Senator Sumaila Kawu has warned that an executive order on state police will bring confusion and should not be invoked.

Following the call by the apex Yoruba socio-political organisation for President Bola Tinubu to issue an executive order for the establishment of state and local government police, Sumaila Kawu, a member representing the Kano South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, has expressed disagreement with Afenifere’s suggestion.

He made his opinion public during an interview with ARISE NEWS on Monday, emphasising that such a significant constitutional matter requires a proper legislative process.

“I’m not in agreement with Afenifere’s position that the president should invoke an executive order on this very sensitive and serious constitutional matter, but I support the position that we need to do everything possible to arrest the security situation in Nigeria. The state police is a constitutional issue, therefore, I think it’s better for us to sit down under one roof to agree among ourselves to amend the constitution if we need to have the state police.

According to Kawu, the key to advancing this issue, lies in comprehensive dialogue, engagement, and public awareness. He underscored the importance of involving all stakeholders, and making sure they agree with the decision, including the Inspector General of Police (IGP), whose insights are crucial given the varied opinions on state police.

“The main issue is dialogue, engagement, sensitisation, public awareness. All the stakeholders, are they ready to adopt our state police? The Inspector General of Police who happens to be one of the critical stakeholders in this business, if he can come out with his observation, we need to sit down and look into that area because there are so many people who are against state police. Therefore, we need to take all pros and cons on this issue and agree before embarking into this serious and sensitive constitutional matter. But I am in support of everything that will return normalcy, that will bring security in Nigeria.”

He reiterated, “I’m not in support of an executive order”, adding that “It will not work and it will bring confusion. I assure you that some people will go against it because of the nature of Nigeria. It is constitutional. We all agree that Mr President has the constitutional power to invoke executive order but let us do a constitutional amendment, a proper constitutional process, which will support the legislation, which everybody must respect. It must involve everybody in Nigeria to agree on what we are doing, and in the process of altering the constitution, there is provision where the representative of the people will discuss the pros and cons of the legislation. It will allow for a public hearing where we can organise it in a way where each and every federal constituency and senatorial district will converge in a place to discuss the pros and cons and to hear from their constituents, their own position. Definitely we can do it within two weeks but the most important is how can we convince Nigeria. How can we convince the IGP, Inspector General of Police and some parts of the country are not in support of state police?”

The senator also acknowledged the potential benefits of state police while insisting on a thorough and deliberate process to ensure its successful implementation.

“Actually, it has so many advantages and we will derive so many things from it, but let us sit down critically and do it once for all. From the time when Afenifere met Mr. President, from the time when Mr. President constituted the committee to look over interstate police, from that time till today, if we are serious and if we are determined to have the state police, we can have it within a short period of time. We can suspend everything to confront the security challenges in Nigeria but I am not in support of Mr. President invoking an executive order.”

Melissa Enoch

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