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Nigeria senate calls for decentralization of police force Updated for 2021

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Updated: February 27, 2021

The Nigerian Senate has called for the de-centralization of the Nigeria Police Force and the need for community policing as a way of addressing the country’s problem of insecurity. 

L - R Senator Kashim Shettima exchanging pleasantries with the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, immediately after the close of plenary on Tuesday.
L – R Senator Kashim Shettima exchanging pleasantries with the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, immediately after the close of plenary on Tuesday.

This formed part of the recommendations of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Nigeria Security Challenges which was considered and approved during plenary on Tuesday. 

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Recall that the upper chamber had set up an Ad-hoc Committee on Nigeria Security Challenges on January 29, 2020, under the Chairmanship of the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya A. Abdullahi.

The Senate Spokesman, Senator Ajibola Basiru, said in a statement that the committee, in its report, made wide ranging recommendations which were also approved by the chamber.

It urged the executive to direct the Ministry of Police Affairs and the Inspector General of Police to “decentralize the police command structure with operational and budgetary powers” vested in the zonal commands. 

President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, presiding over plenary on Tuesday at the National Assembly, Abuja.
President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, presiding over plenary on Tuesday at the National Assembly, Abuja.

The Senate also urged the Federal Government to set up Zonal Security Advisory Committees at each Zonal Command to advise on the security challenges facing each zone.

The composition of the Zonal Advisory Council as proposed by the upper chamber include; Governors in the Zone; Zonal AIG of Police; State Commissioners of Police in the Zone; State Directors of the Department of State Security Service; Zonal Immigration Officers; Zonal Customs Officers; and Representative of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps in the Zone.

Others are: Representative of the Nigeria Correctional Service in the Zone; Chairmen of State Traditional Rulers Council in the Zone; Faith-based Leaders in the Zone; Civil Society Representatives in the Zone; Representative of Senators from the Zone; Representative of Members of House of Representatives from the Zone; Representatives of Business Community and Labour in the Zone; and any Person or persons deemed to be useful and relevant, taking into account the socio-cultural peculiarities of the zone.

Recommendations were also made for the expansion of the State Security Council and constitution of Area Command, Local Government and Ward Level Advisory Councils.

The Senate, accordingly, urged the Federal Government to direct the Ministry of Police affairs and the Inspector General of Police to immediately implement the Community Policing Strategy involving local stakeholders at the grassroots, and traditional rulers with a view to addressing local security challenges.

The upper chamber while urging the state assemblies to make necessary laws to legalize community policing to be established at the Local Government level, called on State Governors to fund community policing from grants appropriated to each Local Government.

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