State Police Bill Pass Second Reading

The House of Representatives has given a second reading to a bill to amend the Constitution to establish state police.

Supporters of the initiative, which was sponsored by 13 House members, included most members of the Green Chamber who felt that the nation’s current condition of insecurity should take precedence over worries about state governors being political victims.

Since the Seventh National Assembly, state police have been a source of controversy and have not completed the amendment phase.

On Monday, governors elected on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform reiterated their support for state policing as a means of addressing the nation’s deteriorating security circumstances, bemoaning the fact that Nigeria is “almost on the road to Venezuela.”

Additionally, state police have been regularly called upon by regional socio-political groupings like Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Middle Belt Forum, and the Northern Elders’ Forum to address the nation’s growing security concerns.

States in the South-West geopolitical zone have already established the Amotekun, and their Southeast counterparts have established the state-owned security organization Ebube Agu. In North Central Benue State, the Benue Guards have also been in action, and other states with high rates of banditry, including Katsina, Zamfara, and other subnational areas, have also developed state-sponsored militias along similar lines.

Though states continue to demand that Amotekun, Ebube Agu, and others be allowed licenses to possess assault guns like the AK-47 to counter marauders carrying fatal weapons, these outfits have not proven to be as effective as expected. This is because neither the federal government nor the presidency supports them.

After the emergency meeting President Tinubu had with state governors last week in which it decided to establish state police, some have backed the bill while others have rejected it. What are your thoughts as the bill passes a second reading?

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