By Dr Charles Omole
Different folks have been giving their take on the new security initiative by the Western States governors. The concept of Local & Native Police existed in Nigeria until 1968 when they were merged with the Federal NPF.
Historically, Nigeria had regional and local native police forces that operated alongside the federal NPF. After overwhelming complaints about their massive corrupt practices, the Ironsi Administration empanelled a group of experts to advise the government.
In the Panel report, they concluded that the local and native police forces have been come tools in the hands of local politicians and Traditional rulers to extort, harass, and kill opponents. They also complained about the impunity that is displayed by these local forces.
The Panel recommended the disbandment of the local forces and merging them with the federal NPF. The merger was eventually completed in 1968. So, for those advocating State police as a silver bullet to security challenges; we have been here before. It did not work.
They will simply become tools in the hands of our unscrupulous local politicians as was the case in the past.
But this Thread is not about state police, which I support and still believe can be established but ONLY if there is true fiscal federalism as well in Nigeria.
I merely wanted to give context and some background to those who see the new South West security initiative as good purely as a precursor to their preference for State police. I must start by saying that in principle;
I support the intentions behind the establishment of Operation Amotekun (OA). I applaud the Governors for taking the steps to create the outfit. My concern is with the way it has been set up, composed and structured.
These concerns has led me to conclude that OA may fail (not because it is intrinsically a bad idea) but because it has not been setup in a way to make it succeed. My concerns are in different areas as follows:
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