16 State Govs Endorse Establishment of State Police Amid Security Concerns

In response to the escalating security challenges facing the nation, 16 state governors have thrown their weight behind the establishment of state police forces.
This endorsement comes as a pivotal step towards addressing the daunting security issues plaguing various parts of the country.
The National Economic Council (NEC) revealed this development during its 140th meeting, chaired by Vice President Kashim Shettima and held virtually.
According to the report submitted to the Council, the move towards state police garnered widespread support among the governors, highlighting the urgency and necessity of such a measure in tackling insecurity.
During a briefing with State House Correspondents following the meeting, Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu, disclosed that while 20 state governors and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had submitted their memos in favor of state police, some states were yet to make their submissions. However, he refrained from specifying the states in question.
In addition to endorsing the establishment of state police forces, the governors also emphasized the need for a comprehensive review of the Nigerian Constitution to address prevailing security challenges effectively.
Meanwhile, NEC received an abridged report from the ad-hoc committee on Crude Oil Theft Prevention and Control, chaired by Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State.
The committee identified key areas of oil leakages within the industry and underscored the importance of political will in implementing changes and reforms to curb infractions.
Quest for State Police
The quest for state police has gained momentum amidst rising concerns over the nation’s security landscape.
Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had on February 12 restated their position on state policing, as the solution to the country’s worsening security situation, lamenting that Nigeria is “almost on the road to Venezuela”.
Also, regional socio-political groups such as Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Middle Belt Forum, and the Northern Elders’ Forum, have repeatedly called for state police as a solution to the myriad of increasing security challenges confronting the nation.
Already, states in the South-West geopolitical zone have formed the Amotekun while their counterparts in the South-East also created a security outfit Ebube Agu. The Benue Guards has also been operational in Benue State in the North Central while states like Katsina, Zamfara, and other bandit-prone sub-nationals have also come up with similar state-established outfits.
However, the effectiveness of these initiatives has been hindered by the lack of Federal Government backing. States continue to demand that Amotekun, Ebube Agu, and others be granted license to bear assault rifles like AK-47s to confront lethal gun-toting marauders.
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