Senate Backs Decentralisation of Nigeria Police, Community Policing Initiative

The Senate has called for the decentralisation of the Nigeria Police as part of efforts to boost the protection of lives and property.

The Senate urged the 36 state Houses of Assembly to pass laws that would legalise community policing in their respective states.

The Senate, in resolving to adopt the recommendations of its Ad-hoc Committee on Nigerian Security Challenges, headed by Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, called for the expansion of the states’ security councils and constitution of area command, local government and ward level advisory councils.

These were the high points of the recommendations of the ad-hoc committee report on the urgent need to restructure, review and re-organise the current security architecture, which was considered and approved in the Senate.

The committee, set up on January 29, 2020, in its report, made recommendations, which were also approved by the Senate.

The Senate, therefore, urged the executive to direct the Ministry of Police Affairs and the Inspector General of Police to “decentralise the police command structure with operational and budgetary powers” vested in the following 11 zonal commands: Kano/Jigawa/Katsina, Sokoto/Zamfara/Kebbi, Kaduna/Niger/ FCT, Ekiti/Kwara/Kogi, Benue/Plateau/Nasarawa, Bauchi/Yobe/Borno and Adamawa/Taraba/Gombe.

Other commands are: Lagos/Ogun, Oyo/Osun/Ondo, Edo/Delta/Bayelsa, Rivers/Akwa-Ibom/Cross Rivers, Imo/Abia and Anambra/Enugu/Ebonyi.

The Senate also urged the federal government to set up zonal security advisory committees at each zonal commands to advise on the security challenges facing each zone.

The proposed composition of the zonal advisory council include governors in the zone (to preside on a rotational basis); zonal Assistant Inspector-General of Police; state commissioners of police in the zone; state directors of the Department of State Security Service; zonal immigration officers; zonal customs officers; representatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Nigeria Correctional Service in the zone.

Others are chairmen of state traditional rulers’ council in the zone, faith-based leaders in the zone; civil society representatives; representatives of senators, House of Representatives members, business community and labour in the zone as well as and any person or persons deemed to be useful and relevant, taking into account the socio-cultural peculiarities of the zone.

Recommendations were also made for the expansion of the State Security Council and constitution of area command, local government, and ward level advisory councils.

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