Credits –

 We have all heard the
arguments, we know the immense advantage establishing state police in Nigeria
will bring. Nigeria is a country with a population of over 170 million people,
compare that with the measly 500,000 man strong Nigerian police force and it’s
obvious to everyone that there is a huge imbalance with the numbers. Our Police
force is stretched out to the maximum with one police man having to cater to
340 people. This system is definitely not sustainable
I could posit that
employing more men in the federal police force would be a solution but adequately
managing and equipping the current number seems to be enough of an herculean
task currently for the institution.  Though
the police have always been funded, it is yet to reach its potential and
provide adequate protection for the teeming populace. For instance, currently in
Lagos State, hoodlums and thieves assaulting motorist in traffic and robbing
them of their possessions is quickly becoming a fad.

A friend told me she keeps
an empty hand bag in her car so when the thieves strike, she would offer them
the empty hand bag while she plots her escape. The sad thing about her
experience is the fact that she has had to find a way to manage the situation,
a scenario where the hoodlums would be arrested and stopped never crossed her
mind, she already expects it to happen again and again.
I believe Nigerians will
have better security if States were empowered to operate state police. Another advantage
is the number of unemployed graduates who will find jobs securing their local
communities. Officers who will serve with better dedication knowing the lives
of their families and friends are in the balance. Insecurity will gradually
fade away. Securing the lives and property of everyone in Nigeria is not a task
that can be handled solely by the Federal Government. State Governments should
be allowed to contribute as well.
It should be noted that
unofficial security outfits operate in many states in Nigeria, examples are the
OPC and the Bakassi boys. However, a proper institution for state policing
should be created and properly enabled. Many argue that state police will
empower governors to be ruthless with power but there are a number of ways that
may be prevented. The police could be empowered to run independently of state
politics. Others have raised the issue of clashing jurisdictional issues
between state police and the federal police force but this could also be solved
by clearly establishing the jurisdiction given to the state police. Moreover,
state police need not be mandatory for states that do not have the capacity to
sustain its operation. States who have the capacity should however be
The clamour for state
police is getting louder, it is no longer a question of whether we should
create the institution of state police but rather when we should establish
same. Because, truth is, if Nigeria must truly embrace evolution and growth,
state police will become mandatory. It is the only way to provide adequate
security of lives and property for everyone in Nigeria. The desire for state
police must however graduate into a constant interaction with the Legislature
and other stake holders on putting in place policies that will support state
policing. You can begin by writing a message to your local and state government
representatives sharing with them your thoughts on the issue.
Adedunmade Onibokun Esq.