Nigerian police force understaffed, we need state police ― Lalong

• Says governors are not in control of security structures in states

Governor of Plateau State and Chairman, Northern Governor’s Forum, Simon Lalong, has lamented that the current staff number of the Nigerian Police Force was grossly inadequate and will not be able to effectively handle the security challenges in the country.

Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday at the Nigerian Economic Summit, Lalong noted that “before now” the Northern Governor’s Forum were against state police but now, we are in support of it.

“I am talking from the position of Northern Governor’s Forum, initially, we were always against state police, but recent happenings confirmed that there is a problem, first the issue of capacity in the number of personnel of the Nigerian Police Force even the Nigerian Army.

“Our population has increased, we have to also increase the number of personnel to meet up the number of the population but for how many years now! no recruitment in the police force” the governor lamented.

Lalong explained that the issue of funding stating police that many people have expressed fear, noting that most states will not be able to pay the policemen as they are already owning salaries as also been considered by the forum.

“The fear that if you come with state police and like many states that are owing salaries, some seven to eight months, it is possible to set up a police force in such state and they are owed salaries up to eight months?

“These people are holding guns and if you starve them, will you not be increasing the number of insecurity in your state?. These were the issues that were raised but now we see that even without having state police, more than half of the funding of the Nigerian Police comes from the governors,” Lalong explained.

He insisted that “we are already funding the police, we need recruitment and if you are not recruiting, allow us to go and set up state police.”

The governor also said: “The Operation Rainbow in my state has more arms than the Nigerian Police. And if we say that the police lacks capacity, allow us to compliment otherwise insecurity challenges will continue to fly from one place to another.

“You go to a local government or community and you find out that the number of police in that location is not up to 20 personnel to secure a population of about 30,000 to 50,000 and you say these 20 policemen can take care of these population! They can not.”

Lalong said “we have made recommendations to the president, we say let’s sit down and set up a high power committee of experts so we can see their recommendation in order to grant opportunities for states to rescue their states otherwise we may continue to lament on insecurity.

“In some cases, the governor will use their money to buy equipment and technology but the Federal government will tell you, you don’t have any user certificate, your people are being killed and you are waiting for the end-user certificate.

“They call you the chief security officer, every time chief security officer of the state, but are you really the chief security officer of your state when you can not control in total the security structure in your state?”

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