Former IG, Arase Allays Fears over State Police

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Former Inspector General of Police (IG), Soloman Arase, has called for the decentralisation of the police force, saying there should not be fears over the calls for the establishment of state police.

Arase, who spoke on ARISE News Network, a THISDAY sister company, wednesday noted that the establishment of state police would not make the formal police irrelevant.

“When you have community policing, it does not mean absence of formal police. The police officers, who are on ground are supposed to organise that community in such a way that the reporting system is also through the formal policing apparatus you have. So the police don’t have to fear that they will lose relevance. Instead, there are crimes that are committed in communities the formal police are not supposed to concern itself with,” he said.

Arase, who was the secretary of the committee set up by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and headed by Dan Mandani on how to reform the Nigeria Police, said the report of the committee looked at the how the police could be more efficient and robust.

According to him, one of the main decisions by the committee was that there should decentralisation of police functions.

“When you say decentralsiation, you say the top is too heavy. The IG sits in Abuja to superintend over 36 states plus Abuja, which is 37. He deploys the resources both capital and overheads. So why can’t you restructure the police in such a way that the DIGs will now be in charge of six geopolitical zones. So that you allow them to take care of some municipal issues that have to do with the states, like posting and overseeing the activities of the commissioners of police, looking at the buildings that are already dilapidated and allow the IG to restrict himself. Because the concept of IG is inspecting to ensure that standards are maintained.
“But now you over burden the IG, you asking him to oversee many functions. The DIGs, who are in charge of various departments are not firing on all cylinders,” he said.