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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

I continue to resist the idea of state police, however…

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The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu, has reiterated his opposition to state policing in Nigeria, but he acknowledges President Bola Tinubu’s advocacy for state policing. Many believe that this approach may help address the security challenges facing the country.

Currently, Nigeria operates a unitary policing system controlled by the federal government. However, President Tinubu and state governors have expressed the need for states to have their own police forces and have committed to working together to implement this change. Discussions are ongoing, and there may be a requirement to amend existing laws to accommodate state police.

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As a former senator and now serving as a minister, Mr Bagudu’s stance on state police remains unchanged, although he respects President Tinubu’s position on the matter.

In a recent interview with PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Bagudu stated, “President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu understands dissent. I’m not changing my view. I agree with him. But I have the right to express my opinion.”

Mr Bagudu explained that the Tinubu administration is advocating for state police based on compelling arguments presented by government officials.

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At a dialogue organized by the House of Representatives Committee on Constitution Review, the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, opposed the idea of state police and instead suggested merging the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Commission (NSCDC) under the federal police.

Regarding the state police bill currently before the National Assembly, the proposed legislation aims to transfer policing powers from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list. Despite previous rejections, the current assembly may be more receptive to the bill due to increased insecurity and presidential support.

In his interview with PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Bagudu also discussed economic issues, budget controversies, the 2023 elections, and other important topics. The full interview will be published soon.

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