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House Of Reps Finally Move To Legalise State Police, Others

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House Of Reps Finally Move To Legalise State Police, Others

Why House Of Reps Finally Move To Legalise State Police, Others

…pass bill to alter constitution for second reading

The House of Representatives on Tuesday moved a step closer to legalising the creation of state police and removing security matters from the Exclusive Legislative list to allow state government legislate on security.

The House passed for second reading a bill to alter the 1999 constitution to provide for state police and other state government security services to enhance security and preservation of lives and property in Nigeria sponsored by Rep. Onofiok Luke.

Leading the debate on the bill, Rep. Luke said that the primary responsibility of every government all over the world is to protect and preserve the lives and properties of its citizens and to maintain law and order, including preserving lives and property.

House Of Reps Finally Move To Legalise State Police

According to him, the principle of social contract is chiefly anchored on this responsibility where the people relinquished and contracted their individual rights to government for the protection of their lives and properties. Any failure on the part of government to keep to this basic responsibility/contractual term portends danger.

House Of Reps Finally Move To Legalise State Police

He lamented that many years after independence, Nigeria has continually been beset with insecurity ranging from terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery, and domestic violence.

He said that the federal structuring of the security does not encourage community policing or localisation of policing, adding that recruitment and subsequent deployment of police officers in their local area is one of the major ways of curbing crime. Such officers understand the area, terrain, language, behaviour and attitude of the people he or she is policing.

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House Of Reps Finally Move To Legalise State Police

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He said that with a population of over 201 million people, Nigeria was grossly under-policed with about 400, 000 police personnel, a number which falls far short of the United Nation’s recommendation of ratio 1 per 4oo citizens.

He said while the Constitution envisages Nigeria as a federal state, granting allowance to state governments to establish police force and other security apparatuses will bring Nigeria into original constitutional contemplation of federal state.

House Of Reps Finally Move To Legalise State Police

Legalise State Police
House Of Reps Finally Move To Legalise State Police

He said that the bill will amend the constitution to remove the issue of police and other government security services from the Exclusive Legislative List and insert it in the Concurrent Legislative List so that both federal and state governments can legislate on the subject.

Luke said further that the bill will also enhance greater security and preservation of lives and property in Nigeria’s federating units and in the country as a whole and enhance maintenance and preservation of law and order.

House Of Reps Finally Move To Legalise State Police

He said further that when allowed, the law will reduce incidents and occurrence of crimes in the country, lead to the establishment community policing and install greater public participation in policing as well as support and provide assistance to federal police and other federal security agencies.

In his contribution, Deputy Minority Leader of the House, Rep. Toby Okechukwu said the bill was germane, adding that it was time state government are allowed to establish their own police force.

House Of Reps Finally Move To Legalise State Police

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He said “about an hour ago, we observed a minute silence for our people; for the citizens of Nigeria who were killed in Kaduna. In addition to that, my colleague, Hon Barde, also moved a motion to ensure the rescue of 140 pupils – children – who were going to school that were taken in Kaduna.

“We have had situations in this country that ordinarily, this issue of state police should have been addressed a long time ago. Good enough, the recurrence with which it appears and comes up in the efforts to alter the Constitution gives strength to the fact that it is needed.

House Of Reps Finally Move To Legalise State Police

“As a matter of fact, the Exclusive List needs to shed weight and if it is going to shed weight with regard to making our country more efficient and secure, the better we are for it.

“As a matter of fact, there is no state in this federation that does not run a security outfit. No state. Whether it is Amotekun or Hisbah or Vigilante or Ebube Agu, whichever name you call it, they all run it.

“But what character do they possess? What ingredient are they lacking? They are lacking the power to ordinarily bear arms and to arrest and prosecute. We need to occasion this; we need to bring it to the fore to solve the challenges we are having. We cannot be living and pretending that everything is okay. Nothing is okay. If 13 schools were closed in Kaduna, it is not a joke. We need to address this and address this seriously.”

House Of Reps Finally Move To Legalise State Police

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