By Laleye Dipo
The Niger State Governor, Mr. Abubakar Sani Bello, has thrown his weight behind the call for the establishments of state and local government police as the solution to the cases of insecurity presently facing the country.
Bello said this in Minna on Tuesday when he received a delegation of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) that was led by Mr. David Kolade Alabi, who paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Minna.
He said that the present federal police is handicapped by manpower shortage and inadequate equipment to successfully confront security challenges facing the nation.
He said: “The time has come for the state police to be established especially as the federal police are being faced with inadequate manpower and other logistical challenges.
“Now I strongly believe state policing is necessary because we have to take the security down to the lowest level as the federal police cannot do it alone.
“We must break the responsibility from federal-to-states, and from states-to-local governments. Even at the local government level, they should have their police so that, at all levels, there is some measure of control and, in any case, it shouldn’t be complicated.”
He expressed the hope that when the state and local government police are established “we will get some peace and more so, that the police will be employed from the communities where they know everyone.”
The governor advised the national leadership of the ALGON to prevail on its members nationwide to provide robust leadership at the local government levels because of their proximity to the people and as a result of the need to take development to the grassroots.
Bello disclosed that his government has given financial autonomy to local governments in the state.
He decried the present situation where only nine out of the 25 local government councils in the state can conveniently pay the salaries and allowances of their workers due to “over bloated salary payroll and ghost workers.”
Alabi, the leader of the delegation, in his remarks said that the ALGON is worried by the unprecedented attack and banditry activities across the country, saying for this reason the organisation supports the call for the establishment of state police for effective community policing.