Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam has described the agitation for state police in the country as untimely, unreasonable and premature, warning that such a force will be a tool for political oppression, intimidation and harassment of innocent Nigerians.
Speaking in Makurdi at the weekend, Suswam maintained that “those agitating for a law allowing the various states to create their own state police must have a rethink because it is an invitation to anarchy.
“The truth is that we are not yet ripe for state police. We certainly cannot afford to entrust state Governors with the responsibility of running a police force. Doing that will certainly amount to an invitation to anarchy.
“A ready example is allowing Nasarawa and Benue states to have their separate police outfits in the face of the lingering Fulani herders incursion into parts of Benue territory from Nasarawa State, maybe by now, we would have used our separate police outfits to launch attacks on each other.
“Moreover, we must tell each other the truth. Creating state police would be another way of legalising the torture, harassment and intimidation of perceived political enemies in our respective states.
“If you put the control of a force in the hands of state governors, you can be rest assured that as politicians we will use the force to achieve our selfish interests to the detriment of the interest of the tax payers and the ordinary citizens.
“How many state governors can afford the wage bill that goes with running a state police. It is an expensive venture that state governments cannot afford to undertake for whatever reason.
“My opinion therefore is for government to ensure the proper equipping and funding of the Nigeria Police Force, and when that is done, the force will be better positioned to carry out its responsibilities to Nigerians,” Suswam said.