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Nigerian House Speakers Push for State Police to Tame Insecurity

A chorus of voices for state police has emerged, with the speakers of all 36 Nigerian State Houses of Assembly voicing their support. This development could reshape Nigeria’s security landscape.

Following a meeting in Abuja, the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures issued a communique on Thursday. Signed by Chairman Adebo Ogundoyin, the Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, the communique strongly endorsed the creation of state police forces as a solution to Nigeria’s pressing security concerns.

The Speakers believe state police would allow for a more tailored approach. Locally based forces, they argue, would be better equipped to understand, and tackle the specific threats plaguing their communities.  The communique urged the National Assembly and the Presidency to seize the opportunity presented by the ongoing constitutional review process to pave the way for state police.

The debate on how to best address national insecurity has been ongoing in Nigeria in recent weeks. Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police Kayode Egbetokun recently registered strong opposition to the proposal for the establishment of state-controlled police forces.

“It is the submission of the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force that Nigeria is yet to mature and ready for the establishment of state-controlled police,” said Egbetokun.

The National Assembly is currently reviewing the 1999 constitution, with state police being a major discussion point. The backing of the State legislatures significantly strengthens the case for state police. However, the final decision lies with the National Assembly and the federal government.

—Ezinwanne Onwuka reports for TruthNigeria from Abuja.

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