Senator drums support for state police

Sen. Ajibola Basiru (APC-Osun Central) has said that the inability of the Nigerian police to tackle the challenges of insecurity would be significantly resolved with the establishment of state police.

Basiru said though every country had its fair share of security challenges, the security situation in Nigeria has deteriorated since May 29, 1999.

The senator said this on Thursday in Ilorin during a Lecture/Award of Excellence by the Correspondents’ Chapel of Kwara, Nigeria Union Journalists (NUJ).

He said that the present security challenges faced in the country calls for making creation of state police a necessity.

At the lecture, titled “Democracy and the Rule of Law”, the lawmaker said the issue must be seriously looked into because policing a nation or community was said to be local and cannot be best solved by the centralised system of policing the country operates.

”This topic is borne out of the recognition of the fact that governance includes and encompasses the processes by which laws are enacted, administered and enforced, and that the even and just application of law guarantees the security and welfare of the citizenry.

”Entrenchment of democracy and rule of law call for an efficient and effective security system and the primary duty of government is the security and welfare of the people.

”The benefits of state police, among others, include the fact that such police unit being very close to the grassroots will effectively assess crime and other associated situations and respond rapidly to security challenges.

”It would also address the problem of dearth of manpower under which a policeman or officer will have to secure more than 700 persons,” Basiru said.

He said it was on the above premise that he sponsored a Bill seeking to grant National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly to make laws with respect to the creation, formation and control of police and ensure effective local policing in Nigeria.

Basiru added that Nigeria was the only federation without state police as other nations allow their federating units to exercise authority on the issue of policing to complement the efforts of the central police command.

”The result of the ineffective structure that Nigeria operates is the obvious wave of unprecedented level of insecurity pervading the federation making people lose faith in the central government.

”To combat crime in any federation is the collective responsibility of all tiers of government,” he explained.

The senator said democracy and the rule of law are interlinked and mutually underline the purpose and essence of governance.

”Election is the foundation of representative democracy as it gives the citizens the power to decide who governs them.

”Thus in every democratic system, the government derives its powers from the people through the instrumentality of election.

”Whereas, election is the principal mechanism of democracy that allows for exercise of the sovereignty of the people, its basis is concretised in the rule of law,” Basiru said.

He added that the greatest threat to any democracy therefore is the wanton manipulation of the electoral processes.

Basiru however noted that a toxic element that vitiate election and threaten rule of law is illegal interference with the electoral process and influence their outcomes. (NAN)

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