8th January, 2022
Former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu said state police remains the best way to effectively secure Nigeria.
Ekweremadu stated this on Saturday, in an interview with Dream FM, while reacting to the statements made by President Muhammadu Buhari on State Police.
Buhari, in an interview on Wednesday, had ruled out state police.
The president claimed that traditional rulers could play the role of local police because they know “who is who” in their communities.
He said: “State police is not an option. Find out the relationship between local government and the governors. Are the third tier of government getting what they are supposed to get constitutionally? Are they getting it? Let the people in local government tell you the truth, the fight between local governments and the governors.”
Reacting to the comment, Ikweremadu said:
“State police is still the way to go to effectively secure Nigeria.
“I’m mindful of Mr. President’s concerns, which is not different from the concerns of many Nigerians, which is that it could be subject to abuse by state chief executives. Consequently, the constitution amendment Bill for the Creation of State Police, which is currently before the National Assembly, has taken care of that in the appointment, control, equipment, and supervision of state police services.
“I also sponsored the same Bill in the 8th National Assembly as the Deputy President of the Senate at the time. It is the sort of arrangement we have in the National Judicial Council. We have a state judiciary, but the presence of the NJC ensures that they are not abused.”
Ekweremadu has confirmed that a political solution is still being pursued concerning the case of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
President Buhari had confirmed that he would not release Kanu who is facing charges bordering on terrorism and treason and is currently in the custody of the Department of State Services.
However, Ekweremadu said he expected the president to say that.
The senator said:
“A political solution in the Nnamdi Kanu’s matter is still very feasible. I also watched the Channels Television interview and I don’t think Mr. President ruled out a political solution. In fact, I would have been surprised if he said he would just release Nnamdi Kanu because there is the independence of every arm of government, including the judiciary. There are procedures.
“I recall that it was exactly Mr. President’s response when I led a delegation of the southeast Caucus of the Senate to see him on the Nnamdi Kanu issue in November 2016. But ultimately we kept reaching out and dialoguing until we had a political solution, which resulted in the judiciary granting Mazi Nnamdi Kanu a bail because ultimately, everything will come to the judiciary because every arm of government is independent.
“So, we will keep working on a political solution, nevertheless. We will keep engaging the government, just as we will continue to appeal to our youth and people to ensure the stability and prosperity of our region.
He added that feedback is being expected from the government concerning the political solution being pursued.
He said: “In line with the political solution, which the southeast Caucus of the National Assembly is quietly pursuing, I led a delegation of some Igbo leaders like the Deputy Minority Leader of the Senate, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe; Secretary-General, Amb. Okey Emuchay; and bishop of the Methodist Church of Nigeria and Co-Chair Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace, Bishop Sunday Onuoha. As usual, I deliberately didn’t want to make it public because it is a quiet service we are rendering to Ndigbo and the nation. But the DSS eventually made it public in one of their statements. So, to answer your question, yes, I did lead a delegation to interface with the Kanu and the authorities. We had useful conversations. We have equally made some requests and we are waiting for feedback from the government to make progress.”