The federal government’s plan to subsume the regional security outfits(Community Policing) under the Nigeria Police Force has come under serious criticism by Senior Advocates of Nigeria(SANs) who consider it grossly inappropriate.
Recall that a week ago, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the sum of N13.3 billion for the takeoff of Community Policing in Nigeria. To carry out the implementation framework, the Inspector General of Police(IGP), Mr. Mohammed Adamu was empowered to accommodate the regional security networks into the Nigerian Police Force, under the supervision and operational guidelines determined by him.
This development has not gone down well with the Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), who have urged the federal government to rescind it’s decision.
According to a senior lawyer, Dayo Akinlaja, to hijack and integrate regional security networks with the Nigerian Police, defeats the purpose of community policing. It was owing to the failure of the regular police to provide internal security that gave rise to the community security platform
Also, apparently speaking the minds of Southwest governors, Rotimi Akeredolu, Chairman of Southwest Governors’ Forum, said in a television chat that the zone would not collapse it’s security network, Amotekun into the Nigerian police. The Nigerian police is too wobbly a house to accommodate the new grassroots policing system. Doing this would amount to allowing it to die premature at the birth-canal.
Moreover, the IGP cannot be in control of the regional security outfits while the state governors are responsible for the funding. In effect, looking at the question of who should be in control of the rural security, it is reasonable to assert that whoever is funding it should be in control. The governors therefore eminently qualify to be in control as the chief security officers of their states.
However, another SAN, Chief Paul Ananaba, added a dissenting voice. He said ‘only a constitutional amendment would confer legitimacy on such regional security outfits’. Quoting section 214 of the 1999 Constitution, he argued that there is only one police force in Nigeria. Regional security networks can only operate to the extent the IGP would allow them. Though we all cherish the arrival of Community Policing for our grassroots safety, he advised state governors to leverage with the IGP to get the best out of the system.