Former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr. Solomon Arase, has stressed the need for decentralisation of the police system in the country for effective security.
The former IGP, who decried the high level of insecurity in the country, said, “decentralising the nation’s police system will help in fighting terrorism, kidnapping and other criminal acts.”
Arase, who spoke in an interview with Daily Sun suggested that “the Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs) should not just be at the force headquarters or zonal commands, but should be in charge of specific units such as kidnapping, terrorism, trafficking and so on.”
Also, the former police chief said the Nigeria Police Force needs more dedicated hands to fiaght insecurity. He noted that the current number of police officers in the country is not enough, considering the population of the country.
He equally called for synergy among all security agencies in the country and a review of the recruitment process of police officers.
“We need to decentralise the police force in such a way that we will have the Commissioner of Police in charge of crime, kidnapping, cyber crime and others. This will go a long way to curb insecurity in the country,” he said.
The former IGP, who pulled his weight behind state police, however, cautioned against the use of police by state governors to fight opposition.
Arase said state police can only deal with minor security issues like environment and traffic, while major security issues like terrorism and kidnapping need federal police.
“We need the police being controlled by the Federal Government; we also need the state police which will be under the control of state governments. But, this should not be abused by the political class.
“There are lots of advantages in state police if the political class does not abuse it. So, there is need to be careful, if we must introduce state police in Nigeria.”
Arase, who also made a case for community policing, said, “community policing is good for us in Nigeria, because this will stem the rate of crime and social vices at the grassroots.”
Meanwhile, Senator Joseph Waku has described the agitation for state police by governors as the worst thing that can happen to the country, stressing that Nigeria is not yet ripe for it.
Waku, who stated this in a chat with newsmen in Makurdi at the weekend said with state police, state security apparatus could be monopolised as governors may use the police to fight perceived political enemies among other things.
He said the state police would also be abused the same manner state electoral commissions have been abused such that only the party in power wins all state elections.