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April 22, 2024

Reasons for IGP Egbetokun’s opposition to state police proposal

Reasons for IGP Egbetokun's opposition to state police proposal

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kayode Egbetokun has registered strong opposition to the proposal for the establishment of state-controlled police forces. 

Citing a range of challenges and potential risks, the IGP articulated the position of the leadership Nigeria Police Force, asserting that the country is not yet prepared for such a transition.

“It is the submission of the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force that Nigeria is yet to mature for the establishment of state-controlled police,” Egbetokun said.

The police boss made this definitive position on the contentious issue, as his statement came amid heated debates in the country regarding the decentralisation of policing and the allocation of law enforcement responsibilities to state governments.

Highlighting the obstacles that currently beset the Nigeria Police Force, the IGP enumerated a series of critical challenges. 

The IGP raised the concerns over inadequate manpower and operational resources essential for effective policing. 

He also underscored the scarcity of essential equipment such as vehicles, arms, ammunition, communication devices, drones, aerial surveillance cameras, security helicopters, and armored vehicles, stressing their pivotal role in maintaining law and order.

Furthermore, Egbetokun expressed apprehensions regarding the readiness and capacity of personnel, pointing to deficiencies in training programs as a significant area of concern. This acknowledgment of institutional shortcomings underscores the need for comprehensive reforms within the Nigeria Police Force to enhance its capabilities and efficiency.

In addition to operational challenges, the IGP raised substantive issues regarding the potential ramifications of implementing state-controlled police forces. He cautioned against the likelihood of conflicts of jurisdiction arising from overlapping authorities between federal and state law enforcement agencies. 

Moreover, IGP Egbetokun voiced apprehensions about the susceptibility of state police forces to abuse by state governors, highlighting the risks inherent in entrusting localized law enforcement powers without adequate checks and balances.

The IGP’s opposition to the state police proposal reflects a broader discourse on the optimal structure of law enforcement in Nigeria, encompassing considerations of capacity, accountability, and constitutional imperatives. 

As the debate continues to unfold, stakeholders across the political spectrum are grappling with the complexities of balancing decentralization with the imperatives of national security and unity.

In the face of these deliberations, IGP Egbetokun’s stance serves as a focal point for dialogue and decision-making, signaling a critical juncture in Nigeria’s ongoing quest for a robust and effective policing framework.