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No way state police bill will get two-thirds in n’assembly, says senator

No way state police bill will get two-thirds in n’assembly, says senator
July 22
18:06 2018
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Abu Ibrahim, chairman, senate committee on police affairs, says the fear of indiscriminate arrest and detention by state governors may kill the state and community police bill.

The bill which is being sponsored by Ike Ekweremadu, deputy senate president, has passed first reading in the senate.

Ibrahim, however, told journalists on Sunday that the bill may not get two-third majority to get through to third reading and passage.

He said while lawmakers from some parts of the country may vote in favour of the bill, others may not due to fear of abuse.

“My fear is the required numbers. The disagreement between the national assembly members and governors may kill it,” Ibrahim said.

“This is because I know many senators and house of representatives members think that if state governors get state police, they can trample on them, arrest and detain them.

“From my assessment, there is no way it will get two thirds in the national assembly.

“Probably the bulk of south-west senators will go for it because in the area, there is some control and there is synergy because of the control system.

“I do not want to mention names but there are states that there is no way they will vote for its passage. From the way I see it, nine states out of 37 will not vote for it. But let us see how it goes.”

On whether or not there is merit in the clamour for state and community police, the lawmaker said if passed and signed into law, it would help in tackling security challenges in the country.

However, he said there were other factors that may not allow the structure to work effectively.

According to him, the basic problem with the establishment of state police is funding.

“If you create state police, will you get a better funding? These are the things we should ask ourselves,” he said.

“What are the main reasons for failure of the federal police system if it is regarded as failure. The reason is lack of funding.

“You give Nigeria Police N20 billion as budgetary allocation when they require about N300 billion.

“Even the N20 billion is not fully released. It is sometimes between 40 per cent and 50 per cent.

“So, will state police do better. They may know the locality better but do they have the resources?.

“Can the states pay them their salaries and allowances. These are things we should look into, ” he said.

Ibrahim advised that rather than creating a system that would be dead on arrival because of the mirage of problems that would come with, the current internal security system should be overhauled and properly funded.

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