State Police in the Hands of Unruly Governors?


Provision of adequate security of lives & property for all and sundry is a major prerequisite of any organised society. The government of Nigeria is working hard to embrace F.D.I. and at the same time establish avenues to encourage the youth to embrace entrepreneurship. Economic growth & development cannot co-exist with insecurity.


In the early days of Nigeria, we operated a regional system of government which collapsed in the 60s with the introduction of the state structure. There is adequate need to balance power appropriately amongst the tiers of government.

The NASS is currently debating the establishment of State Police, an action which will no doubt alter certain parts of the constitution.

There is no doubt that we need to boost our security apparatus in order for them to keep us safe because the current reality is that they are overstretched and not yet 21st century compliant based on the equipment at their disposal. We must endeavour to develop structures that will fish out bad eggs amongst members of the security agencies.

The need for the establishment of a State Police is inevitable but as a people, we aren’t ripe for it.
We currently have 36 state Governors, majority of who are ineffective. Many of them are not accessible and regularly abuse the privileges of power at their disposal. Both on the left or right wing, progressives or otherwise, no matter the political platform, majority of them have squandered their L.G. allocations. It is obvious that the party platform does not determine success at the state level; rather, it is the individual’s ability to provide dividend of democracy to its citizenry. We have more failed Governors from the political divides than successful ones.

It is easier to interact with the Presidency than with State Governors. Without prejudice, just imagine a State Police in the hands of Govs. Aregbesola and Wike. Imagine the havoc they can cause with such constitutionally backed powers to carry ammunitions at their disposal. Just imagine these two leaders having an organisation that recruits, trains, purchases ammunitions at their disposal and what will be left of their state after their tenures.

The average Nigerian political office holder today is corrupt, selfish, and overambitious amongst other tendencies and they are more accountable at the federal level than the state or L.G. level.
My opinion is that we need to be more matured as a people in order to have success of a State Police structure, it is no doubt a laudable idea but our culture and values of power cannot currently accommodate such.

The Governors are just too powerful at the moment and I think we should start thinking about how to whittle down their powers/ influence or enforce the checks and balance system that the various HASS is meant to do but virtually all the HASS are in the pocket of their state Governors. Some of them even control members of the NASS members from their state.

We’ve seen Governors who hide under providing adequate security for their state employ thugs, pay them with tax payer’s money and use them to oppress opponents; imagine what such a Governor will do when he has the constitutional right of a State Police at his disposal. Imagine the damage he can do? We’ve seen a Governor mobilize thugs and personally supervise the flogging of a Judge. We’ve seen a Governor mobilize thugs to stop lawful arrest by law enforcement agents.

It’s easier to hold the F.G. accountable in the country today than Governors. While I believe the establishment of a State Police is important and needful, I think we cannot currently manage it based on our attitude, it’s just like handling your hard earned wealth to your scoundrel child, why not teach him how to manage money first? Many of these states cannot survive on their own without F.G. allocations, many of them are owing workers salary, and many Governors have milked their states dry. Why not debate how to make the 36 states self-sustaining?

I believe we should begin to focus on how to endear the brilliant minds in our midst into active political participation/ governance. How do we drastically reduce the cost of governance? How do we make the states self-sustaining? How do we rescue the L.G.s from the claws of the Governors? How do we feed ourselves and reduce our heavy reliance on importation? Virtually all the ex- Governor’s since 2003 are super rich, they are all richer than the states they governed and nothing has happened to them since they left office.

Nigeria shall become the most desirable country to live in by year 2025.

God bless you.

God bless Nigeria.


Written by
Opeyemi Ajayi
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