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Governors are frustrated on centralised policing system – Sanwo-Olu

By Idowu Abdullahi

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has disclosed that governors across the country are frustrated by the centralised policing system currently adopted in Nigeria, adding that the template has outlived its usefulness and that other system must be adopted in achieving effective policing.

He added that it was frustrating that despite the support been given to police formations in every state, no state governments have control over the activities of the police force in their domains and that they only take orders from the Federal Government at the detriment of peculiar state’s challenges.

Sanwo-Olu maintained that with the supports in form of funds, operational vehicles among others, governors should have a say in their states security architecture, particularly the police formations across their respective states.

Speaking on Sunday during a popular Television Show, the governor argued that it was pointless for the country to retain the centralised policing system when it was obvious that governors were already playing a bigger role in days-to-days running of police formations in their respective states.

He added that in achieving effective policing across Nigeria, it was important that the country adopt decentralised policing system in tackling challenges peculiar to each state through officers who understand their terrain and can navigate their way across each states.

“The issue of state police are the kind of conversation that we need to make decisions on in this country. We are supporting the Lagos State Police Command in all ramifications and as it is, it is still a federal control police force and there is a limit to which we can interfere in their module operandi and rules of engagement.

“State police is long overdue and we should make it happen. In fact, it is one of the critical initiative that I think will help up us and it has been said over and over again,” the governor argued.

Asked about how frustrating it has been for the governors dealing with centralised policing system with rising insecurity across the country, Sanwo-Olu said, “it is a massive frustration. Meanwhile it is a simple thing that we are trying to address here.

“Like in Lagos, we currently support the Lagos State police command with necessary operational incentives including vehicles, petrols and other allowances and we even gave them constabularies which we are footing their bills.

“We are incuring the expenses already even with a centralised system. So state policing will not have any effect on our numbers or serve as additional expenses. It will help us once we operate state police system that is domesticated and can tackle local challenges with officers who know their terrain and can navigate it for intelligence gathering,” he said.

Meanwhile, the governor also disclosed that no fewer than N100 billion would be spent on the rail projects embarked upon by his administration, adding that the rail project would be delivered during the last quarter of 2022.

“It is a lot of money, it is well over N100 billion,” he said in reaction to the cost of the rail projects being constructed by the state government.

“I don’t criticise my predecessors but indeed for whatever planning or reasons, he never funded it. When we came back last two years, the contractor has since moved from about 55 per cent to about 93 per cent in terms of the physical construction of phase 1.”

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