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Shettima, Jonathan, Abdulsalami, Others Attend National Dialogue On State Police.

By Tonte Igbikialabo

At an event organized by the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives in Abuja, themed “Pathways to Peace: Reimagining Policing in Nigeria,” the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, expressed his stance that the country is not yet ready for state police.

Represented by AIG Ben Okolo, the police chief cited concerns over potential abuse of power by state governors who may manipulate state police for political purposes, leading to rights violations and undermining the rule of law. He emphasized the risk of creating multiple policing structures within states, which could further complicate law enforcement efforts.

Additionally, Okolo highlighted the financial challenges many states face, questioning their ability to sustain and fund their own police forces effectively.

However, former President Jonathan, acknowledging the concerns raised by Egbetokun, advocated for the establishment of state police, asserting that it is a “non-negotiable” necessity for Nigeria. Jonathan emphasized the urgency of addressing security challenges, particularly the rampant issue of kidnapping, which he described as having evolved into a “commercial” enterprise.

The divergent views expressed by Egbetokun and Jonathan underscore the complexity of the issue of state police in Nigeria, balancing concerns over potential abuse of power with the imperative to address pressing security threats through localized law enforcement.

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