The Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has strongly advocated for the establishment of state police, declaring it a necessary step to effectively address the myriad of security challenges plaguing various parts of Nigeria.
He expressed these views on Tuesday during a meeting with the Conference of Speakers of State Legislators, South-West Chapter, led by its chairman and Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Adeoye Aribasoye.
Governor Makinde highlighted the refusal of the Federal Government, a few years ago, to approve the South-West Governors’ demand for state police, which subsequently led to the creation of the Western Nigeria Security Network Agency, also known as Amotekun.
ADULAWO News reports that Makinde emphasized the need for the Federal Government to reconsider this crucial matter.
The visit by the regional speakers, which took place in the governor’s office in Ibadan, was primarily focused on the January 16 explosion in Bodija.
During the discussions, Governor Makinde stressed the importance of collaboration and cooperation between the executive and legislative branches of government.
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He believes such synergy is essential for delivering the dividends of democracy and fostering development for the people.
The governor said, “I want to observe that you need to all come together irrespective of the political party that brought you into office. This is a demonstration that the electioneering period is over and you need to have everybody pulling together to govern and deliver dividends of democracy to our people.”
While speaking on the security challenges in the country, Makinde maintained that the establishment of state police is an idea whose time has come and that the fears in some quarters that states would not be able to maintain state police are unfounded.
He cited the example of Oyo State where the payment of salaries and pensions has never been an issue despite the economic challenges in the country.
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Makinde said, “A lot of people may not know that before we launched Amotekun in this state, some of us governors went to the Federal Government and we asked to be allowed to set up state police for our various states but we did not get that approval during the time of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I disagreed at that particular time and still disagree to date that the states are not in the position to maintain state police. I have never seen where the Federal Government went to a particular state and gave the police everything they needed. So, the states are already maintaining the police.”
Makinde said that the police are on the exclusive list, but if that responsibility is split and states have to run their police system, they should have access to resources from the federation account to meet the responsibility of maintaining the police.
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He said, “So, the issue of being unable to maintain state police will not arise again. Give us the responsibility first and see if certain states will be able to maintain it or not.
“But since we could not get state police, we settled for Amotekun. All the state assemblies in the South West passed a common law for its establishment. So, we have to be pushing for state police, and you lawmakers have a role to play to make that a reality.”