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  • News - North Central - FCT
  • Updated: February 20, 2024

Why Reps passed State Police bill into second reading exposed

Why Reps passed State Police bill into second reading expose

In response to the escalating nationwide insecurity crisis, the House of Representatives has made a significant move by approving a bill on second reading aimed at creating state police.

Spearheaded by 14 sponsors, including Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu, the bill seeks to address the shortcomings of the current security apparatus outlined in the 1999 constitution.

The primary focus of the bill is to transfer the authority over policing from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent legislative list.

This alteration would grant states more autonomy in managing their security affairs, a critical need highlighted by the increasing security challenges across various regions of Nigeria.

During the debate on the bill, Muktar Shagaya emphasised its necessity in navigating the complex security landscape, allowing states to tailor security measures to address local challenges effectively.

Proponents like Ahmed Jaha argued that the responsibility for internal security should rest with the police rather than the military, advocating for the establishment of state police forces.

Supporters of the bill, such as Babajimi Benson, underscored the importance of licencing state police forces, ensuring that only states meeting specific criteria and financial obligations can establish and maintain such institutions.

Despite past opposition, legislators like Aliyu Madaki acknowledged the urgent need for state police in the current security climate, emphasising the importance of decentralising security management.

However, not all voices were in favour. Sada Soli raised concerns about the financial viability of implementing state police across all states and the potential for abuse by state governors.

These concerns reflect broader apprehensions regarding the equitable distribution of resources and the potential for political exploitation.

Despite the debate and differing opinions, the bill passed through the House of Representatives, marking a significant step forward in the legislative process.

Its success on second reading signals a growing consensus among legislators on the need for constitutional reforms to address Nigeria's security challenges.

However, the bill still faces hurdles, requiring endorsement from state assemblies to become law—a process that has proven challenging in previous attempts.

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