The call for state police has returned to the front burner of national discourse, following the deteriorating security situation in the country – The Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast, kidnapping, and ransom taking in every part of the country, the escalating incidence of cattle rustling and banditry in the Northwest and farmers-herders clashes in the North-Central region has solidified the general perception that the current centralized police could not provide adequate security cover for Nigerians.
The clamor for state police is part and parcel of the agitation for restructuring. This is based on the premise that there ought to be devolution of powers in a federal set up, to provide the opportunity for the federating units to handle certain things such as security that can best be tackled at that level.
A panel set up last year by President Muhammadu Buhari has also recently submitted its report, recommending the establishment of state and community policing.
But, the question on the lips of those demanding for a genuine federal structure for the country is, how far is President Buhari willing to go?
The establishment of state and community police is a constitutional matter and one of the issues that those clamoring for a new federal constitution have been demanding to see in a future constitutional amendment. Is he prepared to set the machinery in motion to realize the said objective?
Are the federal authorities willing to alter the revenue sharing formula, by giving more resources to the states to shoulder the increasing responsibility that will result from moving items from the Exclusive List to the Concurrent List? Under the current revenue sharing formula, the Federal Government gets 52.68 percent from the federal purse, the states 26.72 percent and the local governments 20.60 percent, with 13 percent derivation revenue going to the oil-producing states.
Others have also pointed at issues such as the problem of jurisdiction between the federal police and its states counterpart, as well as the possibility of state governors who are the chief security officers in their domains using it against political opponents.
Do you really think Nigeria is ready for state police? Let our readers know your reason why you think Nigeria is ripe or not ripe for state police.