March 23, 2024

Constitution can be amended quickly to create state police — Gov Sani

Constitution review

By Prisca Sam-Duru

The renewed attacks on communities in Southern Kaduna have so much exposed security lapses in the country. Just this 2024 alone, Kaduna state has experienced a spike in insecurity particularly in the area of abductions.

Few weeks after it was reported that over 280 school children were abducted from Kuriga, the state recorded a fresh abduction of over 80 residents on Sunday from the Dogon-Noma community in the Kajuru Local government Area.

With this development, many who hoped that Kaduna, notorious for its prevalence of kidnapping and banditry especially during the past administration, would know peace with the coming of Governor Uba Sani, have their hopes dashed with the upsurge of insecurity in the state. And as a permanent way out of the ugly situation, Governor Sani is advocating state police. He is of the view that since military personnel are not enough to cover all grounds, more so, vigilantes are not as equipped as the bandits who operate with sophisticated weapons, state police is the only way out.

Sani who spoke during Channels Television’s programme earlier in the week, stated that “In my opinion, we don’t have enough boots to cover territories or areas within our country particularly Northwest and some parts of North Central. When the DSS gave us a report that most of these areas were vulnerable, we reported to the military but of course I agree with them that they don’t have enough boots on ground, that’s why they couldn’t cover that area.

“We initiated the vigilante services but of course, the vigilante cannot carry AK-47, they can only work with pump action and most of these bandits attack with AK-47 and sophisticated weapons. How do we equip vigilance services that have limitations to the kind of weapons they can hold by the constitution of Nigeria.”

Speaking further he said, “We had a meeting with the NSA and the Chief of Army Staff and Chief of Defence Staff; they all agreed with me that vigilance service cannot hold anything more than pump actions, and these bandits, they come around with AK-47s and even more sophisticated weapons. That is where we are.

“And in any case, that is the reason some of us are insisting that we need to create a state police. When you create state police, you will give the state police the legal authority through our constitution to hold firearms, including AK-47s. Then those communities can defend themselves.

“But until this moment, the vigilante service can only work with the military. They can only work with the police and all the relevant security agencies to help them with intelligence.”

He added, “We had a meeting with the president last month and he called all the governors and agreed with us that the way forward is the creation of state police in Nigeria.”

Asked if it were possible to have the Constitution amended quickly to accommodate the creation of state police, Gov Sani said that he has been assured that the House of Reps are looking at the issue of Constitutional Amendment towards the creation of state police, adding that “I also believe the Senate is also looking at that and of course I believe the federal government through Executive Bill will certainly initiate the process. This is a very important issue and I can tell you, it can be done in less than a month.”