Zulum: I’m against state police — Nigeria will be in more trouble if established

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Babagana Zulum, governor of Borno state, says he is not in support of state police.

There have been calls for the creation of state police in some parts of the country to tackle the security challenges in Nigeria.In July, a bill seeking to establish state police passed second reading at the house of representatives.The bill was sponsored by Onofiok Luke, lawmaker from Akwa Ibom state.

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But Zulum said decentralising the police force will worsen the security challenges in the country.The governor said this while delivering a lecture at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Plateau state.The lecture was entitled ‘Ungoverned Space and Insecurity in the Sahelian Region: Implications for Nigeria Domestic Peace and Security’.

Explaining his stance, the governor said the country is “not matured enough” for state police.He said it could be used by some governors to harass and intimidate people of other tribes.“Honestly speaking, I, Babagana Zulum, will not support it, not because I don’t like it, but because of the implications,” Zulum said.“Nigeria is not mature for state police. Some state governors can use it to wipe away other tribes apart from their tribes.

So, we have to be very careful. If half of the power given to the Nigeria army, police and others are given to state police, Nigeria will be in problem.”Zulum also alleged that recruitment into the Nigeria’s security agencies has become politicised.The governor said those that are being recruited into the Nigeria security workforce are not really committed to their job as they are only there to get a means of livelihood.“The major problem is the recruitment process. Those being recruited into the Nigerian army, police and other security agencies are job seekers. Many of them are there because they don’t have a job,” Zulum said.

“Those enlisted 20 years ago are performing well, but these people are looking for employment only. So, there’s no commitment and dedication.“These days, governors, ministers and other top government functionaries have slots. Nobody is to interview them whether they are qualified or not. Admission into Nigerian Army, police and others are now politicized.“Unless we get it right, nothing will happen in this country. If we want to make progress, we must ensure that we pick the best. If not, we shall continue to recruit the dull ones. We must engage those that can deliver because we have a lot of competent Nigerians.”

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