- The current security challenges in the country have prompted the House of Reps to consider restructuring policing in the country
- The lawmakers stated that the new legislation would empower states to create their own security outfits
- The sponsor of the bill, Onofiok Luke, said the issue of state police should have been addressed a long time ago
FCT, Abuja - The House of Representatives has commenced the process of giving legal backing to the establishment of state police in Nigeria.
The legislators on Tuesday, July 6, passed for second reading, a bill seeking to amend the 1999 Constitution to allow the creation of state police and legalise regional security outfits, Channels TV reported.
The proposed legislation intends to decentralize the current police system by moving police from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list.
The bill was sponsored by Onofiok Luke representing Etinan/Nsit Ibom/Nsit Ubium Federal Constituency.
He said the bill will enhance the security and preservation of lives and properties in Nigeria.
Bill will encourage community policing
According to The Punch, Luke argued that the federal structure of security does not encourage community policing or localisation of policing.
He pointed out that granting allowance to state governments to establish police force and other security apparatuses will bring Nigeria into original constitutional contemplation of a federal state.
The deputy minority leader, Toby Okechukwu, stated that the creation of state police would adress the current security crises across the country.
“This bill is germane. About an hour ago, we observed a minute silence for our people; for the citizens of Nigeria who were killed in Kaduna. In addition to that, my colleague, Hon Barde, also moved a motion to ensure the rescue of 140 pupils – children – who were going to school that were taken in Kaduna.
We have had situations in this country that ordinarily, this issue of state police should have been addressed a long time ago.''
PDP Reps defect to APC
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was hit with another round of defections on Tuesday, July 6, after four members of the party in the House of Representatives moved to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The lawmakers claimed that the crisis within the PDP in their state prompted them to defect to the ruling party.