IRF tackles IGP for saying no to state police

The Igbo Renaissance Forum, IRF, has expressed deep disappointment regarding the recent opposition against the establishment of state police by Kayode Egbetokun, the Inspector General of Police, DAILY POST reports.

The forum said the IGP’s stance reflects a deep-seated reluctance to embrace necessary change in Nigeria’s policing architecture.

This was contained in a statement signed by IRF’s international coordinator, Nze Ugo-Akpe Onwuka, and made available to DAILY POST on Tuesday.

The statement reads: “While his concerns might be valid, they do not outweigh the urgent need for a restructuring of Nigeria’s policing system. The argument that Nigeria is not ripe for state police overlooks the fact that the current centralised system has failed to adequately address the country’s diverse security challenges.

“Localised policing would not only be more effective in combating crime but also foster a sense of ownership and accountability within communities.

“Nigeria’s security landscape is multifaceted, with different regions grappling with unique threats. A centralised police force struggles to effectively and efficiently combat these varied challenges.

“State police, on the other hand, can tailor their approach to address local security needs more efficiently. Concerns about abuse of power by state governors are also valid, but they can be addressed through robust checks and balances, independent oversight bodies, and a commitment to upholding human rights.”

The forum further states: “Financial considerations are significant but shouldn’t overshadow nor outweigh the potential benefits of state police. Collaborative funding models involving federal, state, and local governments, as well as public-private partnerships, could alleviate financial strains while ensuring effective policing.

“Incorporating the security votes of governors as a source of funding for state police could also address this concern. In essence, while challenges exist, they are not insurmountable. With careful planning, accountability mechanisms, and a commitment to professionalism, the establishment of state police in Nigeria could be a progressive step towards enhancing security and fostering community trust in law enforcement.”

IRF implored all stakeholders to note that it is time to have a frank and open discussion about state police and explore how it can be implemented in a way that addresses concerns while maximising its benefits for all Nigerians.

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