Constitution review: Borno, Yobe representatives kick against state police
Calls for the creation of additional states, local councils and state police in the country have been kicked against by citizen representatives from Borno and Yobe states.
These positions were made known by the representatives in separate presentations at the ongoing public hearing on the 1999 constitution review held on Wednesday in Bauchi state.
Abdulkareem Lawan, speaker of Borno house of assembly, opposed state police and the creation of more states.
“Borno state is already devastated for now. We don’t need additional states and local government councils, because some of the councils just bear names without people,” Lawan said.
“So, there is no need for the creation of state and local governments out of the present Borno state.”
Lawan maintained that Borno was also not in need of state police because it already had the civilian joint task force (CJTF), which had been effective in enhancing security in the state.
He, however, advocated gender equality and increased participation of women and vulnerable persons in governance.
In his submission, Saleh Samanja, Yobe state attorney-general, who corroborated earlier opinions, advocated the retention of the existing states and local councils’ structure.
“We recommend that the existing number of states and local governments in the country be maintained and strengthened, taking into consideration that even the existing ones are not adequately funded to execute viable developmental projects, not to even talk of creating additional ones.”
Samanja said Yobe “strongly opposes” the establishment of state police as canvassed in some quarters.
“The state police can be abused for political reasons and create more insecuritym. Rather, measures should be put in place to encourage community policing under strict supervision,” he said.
However, Sabiu Baba, secretary to Bauchi government, took a different position and supported the creation of additional states and local councils.
He noted that some states with a much lower population and landmass than Bauchi already had more local government councils.
Baba said the state was also in support of the establishment of state police, so as to reduce the over-dependence of the governors on federal law enforcement agencies.
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