The Prelate, United Baptist Mission of Nigeria, Rt Revd Usuanlele Osama, has said Nigeria is not ripe for state police. According to him, the police at the federal level should be better equipped and made to undergo reorientation instead of creating state police, which might become a tool of oppression against the opposition by governors. There are reports that Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, had called for the decentralization of the Nigeria Police during a two-day summit on national security organised by the Senate.
According to him, ‘State police is the way to go.’ Reacting, however, the cleric said reorientation would ensure that members of the force knew their responsibilities and duties, to enable them to perform the function well like policemen in other countries. Bishop Osama told Tribune Newspaper: “Even with the present police being operated by the central government, state governors still use them the way they like, because the order is that the state governor is the chief executive of a state, and so, it is a matter of giving instruction to the Commissioner of Police, who will immediately swing into action and do the biding of the governor.
“And if it’s at the state level, where the bulk stops at the table of the state governor, it won’t be surprising to see abuse of power and privilege. However, if those at the helm of affairs are well educated on the role of the police, even at the state level, they will work for the interest of the general populace, rather than for selfish intentions.” Lamenting the complaints by ordinary citizens of their ordeals in the hands of the police, he said it was sad that in some cases, the security operatives had become “enemies of the people,” noting that “if they can actually train them properly, we will have a better Nigeria Police Force.”