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IGP: State police currently exists in states

The acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, on Thursday, said state police is currently operating in states with the formation of vigilante groups…

The acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, on Thursday, said state police is currently operating in states with the formation of vigilante groups and other security outfits working in synergy with law enforcement agencies to secure lives and property.

The acting IGP spoke at the weekly ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Baba, however, said that the agitation for state police can be properly addressed by the National Assembly.

He said that the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) had supported states with crime prevention and fighting by training more than 70,000 citizens across the country.

“State police is an issue. I remember as far back as 1998, I think I had a project in one of our courses, writing on the desirability of state policing and the issue has been recurring, but now I think it is more.

“I doubt if there is any state that does not have state police even now.

“What do I mean? There are creations that are done by state governments to assist law enforcement agencies in trying to maintain law and order or enforce regulations or laws that are created by state governments.

“State governments or state governors are chief security officers of their states.

“As far as I’m concerned, they are and remain one and my commissioners of police are ready to take all local instructions from them.

“As for agitation, it is there but everybody is already involved in creating one agency or the other to complement the efforts of the Nigerian security agencies.

“The National Assembly can look into the agitation which is their own responsibility,” he said.

The vacuum

The acting IGP, who said the #EndSARS protest dampened the morale of the personnel of the force, added that the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and its replacement with SWAT which is yet to take off after the #ENDRARS protests created a vacuum in the efforts to fight insecurity in Nigeria.

The police boss said the regular policemen and women have not been able to immediately fill the gap created by the SARS disbandment as efforts were ongoing to train them for the new role.

He also disclosed that a total of 1,166 arrests for kidnapping, armed robbery, banditry, murder, cult-related crimes and others had been made between April 7, 2021, to date.

Baba said the new strategy launched by the Police in the Southern part of the country tagged “Operation Restore Peace” is aimed at restoring law and order in the affected areas.

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