Humphrey Abah, an ex-minister of Police Affairs, has raised an alarm over the harm that state-controlled police officers would bring to the country, particularly because of Nigeria’s political structure and the mindset of those in power.
Abah stated that instead, Nigeria needs over five million officers in the force to successfully combat the increasing rate of insecurity.
He further warned that those already proposing such an idea should have a re-think as governors have already abused the Land Use Act, hence there is every tendency that there would be an abuse of power if police officers were controlled by state governments.
The former minister aired his opinion while addressing newsmen in Abuja during a program organized by Britarch Schools.
In addition, Abah stated that politicians are very much responsible for the recent security challenges in the country as many of the kidnappers would be abandoned thugs that state governments, in particular, used during the last general elections.
He said, “My position on the creation of state police is a categorical no. I do not support the creation of state police because of the challenges it would pose to our security system.
“I have had the opportunity of being in the security circle from the ministry of interior to that of police affairs. I can tell you that investing in security apparatus is not a kid’s game. There is the tendency to abuse the power of it within the orientation we currently have in this country. It is so easy to slip off.”
Abah progressed, “It is not advisable in this era. The challenges we have in our security set up today emanates from various political parties today who are in charge of state government running youth wings and youth organizations, that is what is metamorphosing into various kidnapping groups across the federation.
“Let us not look far. These people are not coming from the sky or dark forest. These are youth wings who were used for political engagements, but abandoned, and now finding means of self-help.
“These youths were armed by politicians. So, if you do create state police, believe me, the anarchy we will be getting into would be big than what we have.
“What I advocate is that the Nigerian Police Force should be dramatically be increased. This country needs not more than 5 million police force, nothing less than it to begin with.
“The challenges we have in our security sector today emanate from various political parties which are in charge of state governments running youth wings and youth organisations.
“This is what metamorphoses into various kidnapping groups and armed groups across the country. Let us not look far. These youths were armed by politicians, used and abandoned. They now look for self-sustenance.
“To begin with, this country needs not less than five million policemen. We must have a conscious effort to recruit and train policemen. We should begin to advance the training of policemen and it must be regular.
“This will lead to quality service of officers and men. What I advocate is the dramatic increase of the number in the Nigeria Police Force.
“Anyone nursing the idea of state police is creating a time bomb. What you are creating is; 37 controllers of security. Let us not becloud ourselves with arguments that America has state police; these countries have evolved over centuries and they have a great culture of rule of law.”
Also, read: FIRS posts N1.5tn revenue in Q1 of 2019