Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, has strongly disagreed with the assertion by Inspector- General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and other eminent Nigerians that the country was not ripe for state police.
The IGP and the others had insisted state police would compound the country’s security challenges, saing that the country should concern itself more with ensuring adequate funding for the police
But, Governor Ambode argued that it was the only way out.
This was at a public lecture organised by the IGP in Lagos.
The theme of the lecture was: “Providing Strategic Solutions to Emergent Security Challenges: The Essentials of Synergy Amongst Security Agencies and Civil Populace.”
Speakers at the event include Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulraman Dambazau (retd), Oba of Lagos, Rilwanu Akiolu, Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, former IGPs, Musiliu Smith and Sunday Ehindero, and heads of military and para-military establishments.
They recalled that the police had attempted the strategy in the 1980s and 90s, when it deployed officers from the rank of Deputy Superintendent (DSP) and below to their respective local government areas, but the scheme failed abysmally.
According to them, one of the reasons it never succeeded was because those officers were caught between performing their constitutional roles and aiding their kinsmen, who found themselves in one criminal situation or the other.
But, Ambode, who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Idiat Adebule, while admitting that the issue of state police had not gained desired consensus, said it was the solution to the country’s security challenges.
His words: “I am sure that the guest speaker who is widely acclaimed in the field of security administration and management, Prof. Etannibi Alemika, would provide a window that should lead to the development of strategies that are appropriate for a knowledge and technology driven 21st century policing.
“Although the issue of state police has not gained the desired consensus, I believe strongly that it is the panacea for effective policing that is community based. Given the complexity of security challenges, the imperative for a safe and secured environment for investment, we established the Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC).
“It is a common knowledge that the numerical strength of the Nigeria Police as at today falls short of the minimum requirements relative to our population.