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Analysis

State Police under Governors who can’t pay minimum wage: A recipe for disaster, By Dr Josef Onoh

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The proposal to establish State Police forces under the control of Governors poses significant risks to the security and well-being of Nigerians.

Governors have a history of abusing their power, and controlling state police would only exacerbate this issue.

As seen in the past, governors have prevented local governments from functioning properly, manipulated state assemblies and the judiciary, and used federal police as an instrument of oppression.

It is disingenuous for Governors to request state policing when they claim they cannot pay the 60K minimum wage. How do they intend to fund state police forces?

This request connotes sinister motives, aiming to intimidate and subjugate the people. Instead, governors should allow Local Government Councils to work autonomously, fulfilling their statutory responsibilities with FAAC funding, as designed by the constitution.

It is high time governors stop depriving LGAs of their rightful funds and let them function as the third tier of government.

I agree with the submission and sentiment of those who want state-by- state discretionary wage hikes rather than the current uniform system being used, nonetheless, we must recognise the fact that it will spell doom for states to intend to pay their state policing structures different wages if such is granted.

The wage disparity could cause chaos, engender corruption, and create bigger security issues in the society than we currently have.

Implementing state-controlled police forces without adequate checks and balances would lead to a surge in intimidation and oppression of political opponents. The scarcity of essential equipment, inadequate manpower, and operational challenges facing the Nigeria Police Force would only be exacerbated by decentralizing policing responsibilities to state governments. It is crucial that we prioritize the safety and security of all Nigerians by ensuring that law enforcement powers are not concentrated in the hands of state governors.

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Nigerian emperor-ish Governors have consistently demonstrated a desire for control and oppression, opposing LGA autonomy, State Assembly autonomy, State judiciary autonomy, and wage increments for workers. Their request for state police control is a thinly veiled attempt to intimidate and subjugate the people.

I am urging Mr President to, as a matter of principle and love for the downtrodden, refuse their entreaties and prioritize the well-being and security of Nigerians by denying governors control over state police forces.


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