The Nigeria Governors Forum has told the Federal Government that it is not possible for its members to pay the constables being recruited by the Nigeria Police Force as part-time community police officers.
Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu disclosed this on Wednesday while featuring on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily.
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The Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Research and Planning), Adeleye Oyebade, had on Tuesday said the state governors would pay salaries of the special constables who would serve as part-time community police officers.
But Akeredolu said allocations to the various states were so meagre to accommodate monthly payment of stipends of community policemen.
But Akeredolu said yesterday: “I’m sure they’re taking this thing too far. Governors will have to pay? We’ve discussed this thing before and we told them it is not going to be possible. Are you increasing our allocations? Which state governor will accept that? Other states might say, ‘Yes, we’ll pay’, but we’ll not pay.
“Let’s be fair to ourselves, we’re running a federal system. Where’s that money going to come from when we’re struggling to pay salaries? Nobody has ever come to us to say we will pay salaries (of community policemen) anyway and if they come, we’ll write to say, no, we don’t have extra money to do that.”
Noting that no state takes pride in insecurity, Akeredolu, who is also the chairman of the Southwest Governors’ Forum, said governors would be committed to state policing as they were elected to secure the lives and property within their domains.
“So, which state will now have the police of its own and not deploy it to good use? Multi-level policing is the best for this country. I’m one of those who believe we cannot have central police and that security will continue to suffer until we devolve multi-level policing.”
Akeredolu also stated that the southwest security network, codenamed Operation Amotekun, would not be subsumed under the community policing arrangement of the Nigeria Police Force.
“It’ll never be accepted, it’s not our thinking. We have a law that sets this up. If the DIG feels otherwise, there’s always a place for us to ventilate it. We’re not afraid of this. The law says Amotekun will operate under its own law; it’s not going to be subsumed under any setup. No,” he vowed.