Linus Oota, Lafia
Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule has said that the complex nature of the Nigerian society is not conducive for establishing state police forces as being canvassed by some Nigerians.
The governor stated this yesterday while fielding questions as a guest on Channels Television which was monitored in Lafia by our correspondent.
The governor equally identified funding as a major issue that will stand in the way of setting up state police in the country.
Governor Sule, who disagreed with the suggestion that police officers should be posted to their place of origin in order to effectively discharge their responsibilities, emphasised that state police is not the solution to the country’s security challenges.
The governor said his administration has decided to embrace community policing rather than a state police, saying that security is a collective responsibility and that local communities are in a better position to police their own environment.
“Today, in every community, you will have a traditional ruler, community leaders, stakeholders and more. These people are really responsible for the protection of that community, not necessarily the police,” the governor stated.
He described those agitating for the introduction of language to determine where a police officer should serve as being “off the mark”, adding that the real issue is about finding the right people who will assist the security agencies and the communities towards ensuring that crime and criminality are reduced to the barest minimum.
“That is the reason why we embraced community policing and carry it along. It’s little cheaper for us to manage, less sophisticated than taking state police as a whole,” Sule said.
The governor cited instances where institutions set up by the state to man communities have succeeded like the LASMA in Lagos State and NAYES in Nasarawa State.
“Let’s look at other national issues like the police that have been handled by the states, whether such have been handled properly or not,” he pointed out.
He cited the failure of most state electoral commissions across the country to conduct credible, free and fair election, compared to what the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is doing. According to him, the crisis bedevilling council elections arise mostly because the state electoral commissions are under the direct control of the governors.
It will be recalled that only last week the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, while on an official visit to Abeokuta, Ogun State, said the Federal Government had resolved that communities should take over the policing of their areas, while the conventional police force should give them the needed backup and support.