BREAKING: IGP Egbetokun rejects calls for state police to tackle lingering security crisis in Nigeria

The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kayode Egbetokun has opposed the establishment of state police to tackle the lingering security crisis in the country.

Egbetokun made this known on Monday at a national dialogue on state police organised by the House of Representatives in Abuja.

Recall that President Bola Tinubu and the state governors had on February 16 agreed to establish state police in the country as part of measures to check the rising wave of insecurity.

The agreement was one of the highpoints of an emergency meeting summoned by the President at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, over escalating economic hardship and insecurity in different parts of the country.

But speaking at the one-day dialogue on state policing, the police chief said the country needed more time to prepare for such.

According to the IGP, establishing state police will exacerbate ethnic tensions, leading to divided loyalty in the states.

Represented by AIG Ben Okolo, the Inspector General of Police further argued that establishing state police will also lead to multiple state command structures.

He also said that state governors are likely to abuse the privilege of state police by using it for political gains, leading to possible abuse of power and abuse of human rights.

The dialogue was organised by the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, is the beginning of deliberations on the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (alteration) Bill 2023 (Establishment of State Police) sponsored by the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu and 13 others.

The bill is designed to improve public safety and boost law enforcement in Nigeria by decentralising the police.

The proposal in the bill provides for state police alongside the federal police and outlines a constitutional framework for states that choose to establish and maintain their service.

Kalu, who chairs the House Constitution Review Committee, explained that the bill “aims to clarify the scope of the powers and responsibilities of the federal and state police, and to provide for their funding and oversight”.

It was attended by former military Head of State, Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar, rtd, ex-President, Goodluck Jonathan and retired Catholic Archbishop, John Onaiyekan.

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