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Jonathan, IGP Disagree Over State Police

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Jonathan, IGP Disagree Over State Police

The Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, and former president, Goodluck Jonathan, have disagreed over the establishment of state police in the country.

There have been renewed calls for the establishment of state police following an increase in kidnappings, banditry, and violent attacks across the country.

Speaking during a national dialogue on state police organised by the House of Representatives in Abuja, with the theme: ‘Pathways to Peace: Reimagining Policing in Nigeria’, Egbetokun, represented by Ben Okolo, an assistant inspector-general of police, said Nigeria is not ready for a decentralised police force.

He said, “It is the submission of the leadership of the Nigeria police force that Nigeria is yet to mature for the establishment of state-controlled police.”

The IGP listed some of the challenges as inadequate manpower, inadequate operational equipment such as vehicles, arms and ammunition, communication equipment, drones, aerial surveillance cameras, security surveillance helicopters, armoured vehicles, and inadequate training of personnel.

He added that state police would create a conflict of jurisdiction and open to abuse by state governors.

Ex-President Jonathan, on the other hand, stated that with the spate of kidnappings, the issue of state police is non-negotiable.

“So the National Assembly needs to look into all these. These are the areas that we have to concentrate. The issue of the need for states to have their own police is not negotiable. There is no way we can continue this kidnapping that is going on in this country.

Jonathan, however, added that for state police to be implemented, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must be rejigged.

“So if we are talking about state police, we must also rejig INEC, and the police must not be used against or to the advantage of any political party.

“The issue of voting, the polling booths of INEC, and the use of police during elections has to be reviewed by the National Assembly,” Jonathan added.

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