By Shuaib Sadiq
Elder Statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai on Thursday, faulted calls for the establishment of State Police, saying it would only destroy the nation’s democracy.
Yakasai while making his presentation at the North West Zone Public Hearing on Review of the 1999 Constitution in Kaduna, canvassed for strengthening of Federal Police for optimal performance.
According to him, state governors will misuse the state police to favor and promote their interests and that of the political party in power.
“They will use it to intimidate political opponents in their respective states,” he added.
According Yakasai, Nigerians lost confidence in Local Government Elections because of the way governors use the State Independent Electoral Commissions to manipulate election results in their favor.
“The same will happen to the state police if created, because they will be placed under the full control of state governments.”
Yakasai urged the Federal Government to recruit more police personnel to add to the existing 400,000 policemen across the country.
He argued that a well equipped federal police would serve better purpose than creating state police.
“If the government increases their number to at least 600, 000 or more, it will tackle the security challenges in the country.
“The major problem is that the state government cannot afford to maintain the state police because of the financial implications.
“We had state police in the South Western province during Akintola’s era and also in the Northern province under what we called Local Authority (LA) before it was abolished.
“We know how they were abused and if we return them, they will destroy our democracy,” he said.
Yakasai called for continuation of the three tiers of government with Federal, Regional and state governments.
He said the Federal Government should allocate more funds to regional governments and the states for faster development and as way of devolution of powers.
To him, the national assembly should consider establishing a regional legislative arm with both elective and appointed legislators to guide the state legislative arm.
Meanwhile, the Committee said at the end of the public hearing that it had received 77 memoranda from groups, government institutions, individuals and Civil Society, women and youth groups from the four states.
Sen. Kabiru Gaya, Chairman of the North committee for the North West zone pledged that the national assembly would do justice to the memoranda submitted.
Gaya said the committee would accept more memoranda on the constitution review over the next two weeks.(NAN)