Southern Govs Want State, Community Policing, Says Chairman

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Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State says his counterparts in the southern region want state and community policing to tackle rising security challenges in the country.

The security situation has worsened in recent years with kidnapping for ransom among other crimes making headlines. Calls for the creation of state police have been a controversial topic. But Governor Abiodun says his colleagues from 16 other states are backing the establishment of state and community policing.

According to him, this was part of the decisions by the Southern Governors’ Forum which met in Abeokuta, Ogun State on Monday.

“So, that was something that we discussed. We all spoke with one voice in support of state policing,” he said on Monday.

“We spoke with one voice in support of regional security outfits which almost all regions have set up and that are working hand in glove with the law enforcement agencies and providing them with intelligence and support.”

Critics of state policing fear that governors may abuse it and use it as a tool for victimisation and intimidation.

However, the Ogun governor argued that state and security which state community policing will bring is crucial to the development of the country.

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“If indeed, we are going to be talking about how to enhance our socio-economic development as a region,” he said, “we all know that we cannot have any meaningful development in the atmosphere of insecurity.”

He said though governors are the chief security officers of their states, they have little control of the police in their domains.

Governor Abiodun said since police commissioners take orders from and report to the Inspector General of Police, they may not be swift in responding to crimes unlike what would have happened if governors were in charge of the police.

“If the situation requires an emergency response, that lag between reporting to the IGP and coming back to us (governors) may have brought the state to some level of harm,” he said.

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