Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has reiterated the need to create state police in Nigeria, noting that “a lot of” governors are agitating for that.
Mr Sanwo-Olu reiterated the call on Thursday when the commissioners of the Police Service Commission (PSC), led by the acting chairman, Clara Ogunbiyi (a retired justice), paid him a courtesy visit at the Lagos House, Marina.
Mr Sanwo-Olu said this would help governors protect the life and property of people, which they had sworn to, and ensure peace and tranquillity within their states.
The governor added that his administration would continue to provide adequate security for the state’s residents.
“We reiterate and seek your cooperation on our collective agitation for state police. This is my view and the view of a lot of my colleagues and citizens. Given the age of our democracy, policing at the community level is not only desirable, but it is also important, and it is what should be done and what we require,” Mr Sanwo-Olu stressed.
He added, “We will continue to advocate for state police. We have said that state police is not in any form to retrench or reduce whatever the Nigeria Police is doing now. There would still be clear responsibility that would be federal in nature.”
The Lagos governor also highlighted the deficit in the number of police personnel compared to the population.
“We also know that if you look at the ratio of policemen to our huge population, we are still far from what it should be. So, for us, it is really another level of employment generation; providing what we are sworn to do, which is the protection of life and property; ensuring there is peace and tranquillity within our state,” Mr Sanwo-Olu pointed out.
According to the governor, the move for state police is constitutional and has been pushed at various stakeholders’ levels.
“The population is growing on a daily basis, and we need to be proactive to be able to respond and be able to ensure that we don’t have space for criminal-minded people or people that have other intentions within our own territory,” he explained.