Fears Of Arrest, Abuse By Govs May Kill State Police Bill – Sen Ibrahim

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Sen. Abu Ibrahim,

says the fear of indiscriminate arrest and detention by state

governors may kill passage of the State and Community Police Bill.

 

Ibrahim, who made this known in an interview with newsmen in Abuja,

said the bill which had passed first reading in Senate, may not get

two third majority to allow for a third reading and passage.

 

He said that while lawmakers from some parts of the country may vote

in favour of the bill because of their control system, others may not

for fear of abuse.

 

“My fear is the required numbers. The disagreement between the

national assembly members and governors may kill it.

 

“This is because I know many senators and House of Representatives

members think that if state governors get state police, they can

trample on them, arrest and detain them.

 

“From my assessment, there is no way it will get two thirds in the

National Assembly.

 

“Probably the bulk of South West senators will go for it because in

the area,  there is some control and there is synergy because of the

control system.

 

“I do not want to mention names but there are states that there is no

way they will vote for its passage.

 

“From the way I see it, nine states out of 37 will no vote for it. But

let us see how it goes,” he said.

 

On whether or not there is merit in the clamour for state and

community police, the lawmaker said if passed and signed into law, it

would help in tackling security challenges in the country.

 

However, he said, besides the fear of intimidation and abuse, there

were other factors that may not allow the structure to work

effectively.

 

According to him, basically, the problem with the Police is funding.

 

“If you create state police, will you get a better funding? These are

the things we should ask ourselves.

 

“What are the main reasons for failure of the Federal Police system if

it is regarded as failure. The reason is lack of funding.

 

“You give Nigeria Police N20 billion as budgetary allocation when they

require about N300 billion.

 

“Even the N20 billion is not fully released. It is sometimes between

40 per cent and 50 per cent.

 

“So, will state police do better. They may know the locality better

but do they have the resources?.

 

“Can the states pay them their salaries and allowances. These are

things we should look into, ” he said.

 

Ibrahim advised that rather than creating a system that would be dead

on arrival because of the mirage of problems that would come with, the

current internal security system should be overhauled and properly

funded.

 

According to him, creating state police would be overburdening for

states that have to be assisted by the Federal Government for not

being able to pay workers’ salaries.

 

He pointed out that if state police must work, there must be change in

the revenue allocation formula to give states more money.

 

“If we maintain the current allocation formula, maybe Lagos, Rivers,

Akwa Ibom, Kano, Kaduna may pay. But after that who else.

 

“This is a federal function, if I have to take a federal function to

state, it is reasonable that I reduce the amount going to federal and

give more to the states.

 

“Also, there are questions like, how many functions do you take from

federal to states.

“We cannot just say, create state police with the present allocation formula.

 

“It will not work and that is beside the political angle I spoke about

earlier, that is, the relationship between state governors and

lawmakers,” he said.

 

A Bill seeking the amendment to the 1999 Constitution to accommodate

State and Community Police passed first reading in the Senate on July

12.