THE House of Representatives, yesterday, approved the establishment of state police in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.
The approval of state police was contained in a bill seeking to alter Section 214 of the constitution to provide for establishment of state and community police in the country which passed second reading in the House.
The Bill also seeks to replace the word “force” with “service” in its nomenclature.
Speaking in his lead debate, sponsor of the bill, Dada Awoyele, said there was urgent need for an amendment to the 1999 Constitution to allow government establishment of a state police in all the states of the federation.
According to him, the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, as currently constituted, is highly centralized and very far away from the people.
He added that the alteration became necessary, given the rate of insecurity in the country.
Awoyele argued that the establishment of state and community police was necessary as it would equip officers with the requisite knowledge of the terrains where they operate.
He said: “The police is supposed to be for the people. Inhabitants of these communities will see the police as part of their communities. State and community policing is necessary because they know the terrain of the localities.”
The lawmaker further argued that the establishment of a state police would change the orientation of the Nigeria Police, stressing that a state police was a more service-oriented force.
Contributing to the debate, Oladele Kayode said the establishment was long overdue as the current structure was colonial in nature, adding that for policing to be more effective, the police had to be decentralised.
The lawmaker noted that decentralised policing would afford states an opportunity to determine the number of officers they required.
The bill was referred to the special committee on constitution review.Vanguard