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16 Governors Rally Behind ‘State Police’ Amid Escalating Insecurity

Sixteen state governors have thrown their weight behind the establishment of state police forces as a measure to combat the escalating insecurity plaguing Nigeria. 

This endorsement came to light following the 140th meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC), which was conducted virtually.

Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu, revealed this development during a briefing with State House Correspondents after the NEC meeting, chaired by Vice President Kashim Shettima. 

While Bagudu didn’t disclose the names of the endorsing governors, he indicated that out of the 36 states, 20 governors and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were yet to submit their positions.

In addition to supporting the establishment of state police, the 16 governors also called for a comprehensive review of the 1999 Constitution as amended, highlighting the need for institutional reforms to address the country’s security challenges effectively.

Meanwhile, the NEC has received an abridged report from the ad-hoc committee on Crude Oil Theft Prevention and Control, chaired by Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State. 

The committee identified areas of oil leakages within the industry and recommended the necessity of political will to implement requisite changes and reforms.

The call for state police comes amidst mounting security concerns across Nigeria, with reports of kidnapping and banditry on the rise. 

Notably, governors from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as well as regional socio-political groups like Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Middle Belt Forum, and the Northern Elders’ Forum, have consistently advocated  the establishment of state police as a viable solution to the country’s security challenges.

Several states have taken independent measures to address insecurity, forming regional security outfits such as Amotekun in the South-West, Ebube Agu in the South-East, and Benue Guards in the North Central. 

However, these initiatives have faced limitations due to lack of federal support, prompting calls for the authorization of state security outfits to bear assault rifles like AK-47s to confront armed aggressors effectively.

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