'Jonathan’s Stand On State Police Defective'


The representative of Apapa Constituency 1 in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mufutau Egberongbe, has faulted the comment credited to President Goodluck Jonathan that Nigeria is not ripe for state policing.

Egberongbe, who reacted in his office at the Assembly complex recently, maintained that the nation would not achieve the desired security situation if it refuses to embrace state policing.

The lawmaker argued that in a true federal state, “we have federal laws, state laws, state high courts, federal high courts, and if states make laws, the state police, ordinarily should enforce the laws, just like federal police would enforce federal laws.

“We cannot be speaking from the two sides of our mouth.

“On one hand, we are saying one thing; on the other hand, we are doing something else, which should not be the case.

“My personal view is that if we have a viral institution, we should not be afraid of having state police.

“If you, at the federal level, are saying the state governments would hijack state police, then can we say those in office at the federal level are using the Nigerian Police Force for their own gain?”

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Continuing, Egberongbe said: “If we say they are using it for their own gain, do we now say there should be no police in the country at all which is the logic line of argument?

“I think we should shy away from individualism and focus on institutions. Let us build virile institutions.

“There are checks and balances. Now, the governors and the President have immunity, but you will account for what you did while in office after leaving, so let us have ideal federal institutions.”

Egberongbe submitted that the people in leadership positions are products of the society, and everyone should be thinking of the country’s moral values, maintaining that, “if we are saying people will use state police to witch-hunt others, then we are building a weak society and the issues go beyond what we see.

“I am in my late 40s, I have never been to Kano, Enugu and many other areas in the country, and if I take up a police job, I would have been posted to another part of the country I don’t know anything about their culture, values, customs, character of the people and so many more, which would be alien to me, and which are keys to policing.

“Why are we shying away from this? If you want to discuss what is happening in Lagos, I can tell you, I know what Idumota is like, I can tell you the political background of many places like Mile 2 and Mushin and give effective information on these places. Policing starts with having an idea of where you are taking care of.”

—Eromosele Ebhomele

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