Director-General of Progressive Governors Forum, PGF
, Dr. Salihu Moh. Lukman has spelt out conditions under which the establishment of State Police could serve as an appropriate response to Nigeria’s security challenges.
There have been calls from different quarters for decentralization of the police force to pave way for the emergence of State-funded and controlled security operatives which would allow governors to function fully as the chief security officers of their States.
But that call has over time met brick wall given the sense of fear that such security formation could be hijacked by governors to witch-hunt political opponents.
Lukman, who noted that issues of amending the laws to enable state governments to establish state police are clearly unavoidable, however, mooted that processes of regulating the operations of the state police should be centralised as part of the functions of the Federal Police.
He said under that condition, issues of recruitment, qualification, background checks for those to be recruited, enforcement of disciplinary requirements, arms procurement and training for weapon handling, etc. should be handled at the Federal level so that there are uniform standards across the country.
“It should be like the case of universities with National University Commission
(NUC) serving as the regulatory body enforcing standards across all Nigerian universities.
“Outside regulations, there are issues of funding. Most time, Nigerians make proposals in terms of how government should address challenges with the assumption that funding is given, which means that government can always mobilise the resources. This is mostly exaggerated.
“To address Nigerian security challenges, especially if the establishment of state police is to be considered, there must be a new funding arrangement, which should insulate the operations of Nigeria Police including the new state police to be established from all the uncertainties surrounding public financial management,” Lukman stated.
According to a statement titled, “Nigerian Politics and Fallacy of PDP – APC Semblance (Part 2)”, issued Friday, the APC chieftain maintained that the current security structure in the country needs to be radically reformed.
He noted also that APC administration is taking steps to equip the security agencies and build morale, promote community-led solutions, develop new security infrastructure and operations across land and maritime environments, and address the underlying drivers of insecurity (poverty and youth unemployment), encouraging reports are emerging from the various theatres of operation.
“Although serious challenges still exist, and there is still a long way to go in restoring a robust sense of security in the country, it is also very important to continually acknowledge the victories and successes being recorded by the military and law enforcement agencies, in the various theatres of operation across the country,” he said.