Mr Victor Ochei, the Speaker of Delta House of Assembly has called for the establishment of state police to enhance the security of lives and property of Nigerians.
Ochei made the remark in Nsukka on Wednesday during the 2012 Good Governance Lecture of the Institute of African Studies of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
The lecture was entitled “The Challenges of Security in Nigeria: The Prospects of State Police.”
He said that communities should provide people for recruitment into the state police, adding it would be a proactive measure in securing the lives and property of the people.
“An officer having known that his relations and family members are under his watch will not allow any thing that will compromise him or create problem for them.
“It will be easy for state police to detect criminals since they are part of that locality.
“These criminals are not living in another planet, they are in our communities.
“The existence of ethnic militia and other local vigilante groups across the country is a manifestation of the fact that the public hardly have faith in the existing unitary system of policing.
“The latest upsurge in terrorism and other security challenges across the country have brought to the fore the need to have state police.
“I have no doubt that establishment of state police will be of immense benefit and will help to stabilise the polity.”
Ochei, who was invested as a Fellow of the institute, said that those against the establishment of state police were only driven by fear that it might be abused.
“When state police is established, measures will be put in place to checkmate overzealous governors, politicians and ruling political parties.
“This country will benefit from state police as other countries of the world have benefited from it; Nigeria’s case will not be an exception.
“Federal police will still be in place, as establishment of state police does not mean federal police will be abolished.”
In his remarks, the Vice-chancellor of the university, Prof. Bartho Okolo, said that the institute was striving to compete favourably with its counterparts in Europe.
“The institute is research-oriented and needed partners who will identify with its aspirations to enable it to compete favourably with others.
“We appreciate every assistance especially at this time that government subvention is not enough to cater for all our demands.”
Earlier, the Director of the institute, Prof. Sam Onuigbo said that the institute needed about N9.2 million to equip its library with current books and journals. (NAN)
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