Nigerians have remained persistent in the call for increased security in the nation.
This is as there are calls for the restructuring of the political system to include the establishment of state police.
Many who are in favor of this change think that state governments are better positioned to offer practical solutions to insecurity in their local communities.
In light of this, the Afenifere and Pan Niger Delta Forum advocacy groups have also lent their support to the issue from a social and political standpoint, but their voices have now been joined by those of the 19 Northern Governors and traditional rulers who met recently and advised the Nigerian National Assembly to remove police from the executive list in the Nigerian constitution, paving the way for states to establish their own police forces, fund them, and hold them accountable.
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Security Protection Analyst/Security Consultant, Oluwafemi Aratokun-Ale, speaking on TVCBreakfast on Friday about the increasing demands and needs of state police, said he had always advocated for state policing and the need for states to protect their own citizens.
He stated that the federal government should listen to state governors who say they want state police for the sake of citizens and Nigerians.
According to the security expert, community policing is all about the community, whereas state policing is all about the governor.
“Those within the executive are not really seeing what is happening within the local governments.
“I have long advocated for state policing because once you have that, community policing falls into place automatically.”
Aratokun-Ale went on to say that if the Nigerian police force was allowed to do their jobs the way they are supposed to be done, no one would be clamouring for state police.
“Sometimes the Nigerian police want to do their job professionally, but politics will get in the way.
“We have crippled the Nigerian Police Force to the point where only the elites can have police for their own safety and protection, leaving behind Nigerians and the vulnerable.”
Mr. Ale acknowledged that the state police could be misused because it involves the transfer of authority, but added that everyone must cooperate to achieve good state policing and make the state police serve the public interest.
“We lack business synergy because everyone wants to be in charge, which brings us back to the question of how the governors will use the authority they have to create state police.
“Due to the fact that many people stand to gain from the crisis, there are numerous internal forces working to prevent things from working”, he said.
Mr. Ale claimed that for the nation’s security architecture to function, a lot of discipline must be applied.
“Every minute, we see our Nigerian police derail because no one is motivating them; those we see causing problems for the Nigerian Police are those who graduate from the Police College without further training.”
He also stated that many people who now join the NPF do so out of frustration rather than passion.
In response to the issue of elites being assigned close protection teams, Mr Aratokun-Ale stated that the majority of them are not properly trained for such jobs.
“When it comes to state policing, many structures must be built around it, not just the usual ones.
“Members of the public must be involved in security decision making in terms of security strategies and structures”, he added.