The Abia state governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has expressed his position regarding recommendations for the establishment of state police to confront the growing spate of insecurity in the country.
Speaking during a Radio Nigeria programme, RADIO LINK, which was monitored by DAILY POST at the weekend, Ikpeazu opined that State Policing would help in combating myriads of insecurities threatening the peaceful co-existence of Nigeria.
The governor said, “State Police is the way to go. I support it 100 per cent. Security has a lot to do with intelligence gathering. And, this is best achieved when the security agencies understand the terrain very well. Criminals live amongst us. They dont come from the moon. Community policing will help check the increase in criminal activities across the country.
“When the Police Force is peopled by those who come from the locality, it becomes way to manage the situation better. This is why in places like the US, there is no centralized police system and they have made a huge success of it. The fear of Governors using it against their opponents is unfounded. Why should we be afraid of a situation we have not tested? ”
Ikpeazu added, “If a baby on his mothers back is afraid of the ground, that baby will never walk, talk less of running. The misuse of power is an abstract concept. Power is taken for good, not for evil. Besides, power is temporary. No Governor will remain in office beyond eight years. Four years from now, I will no longer be a Governor.
“The issue of funding of the State Police wont be a problem because all we need do is to recalibrate the revenue allocation system in such a way that whatever is used to fund the Police currently will be given to states for the same purpose. It is strange that a Governor who runs a state does not have any control over security issues in his state. If as a Governor, you have a Police Commissioner who wants to be difficult, you are helpless. We cant make progress that way.
DAILY POST had reported that a presidential panel on the reform of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), had recommended the establishment of State and Local government police to curb the insecurity in the country.
The panel, chaired by the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission(NHRC), Tony Ojukwu, said the establishment would assist in addressing the security challenges in Nigeria.
Author: Chijindu Emeruwa