The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Tuesday, said the establishment of state police is an idea whose time has come, noting that it has become imperative to surmount the security challenges facing different parts of the country.
The governor, who claimed that the Federal Government’s refusal to approve the South-West Governors’ demand to establish state police a few years ago resulted in the establishment of the Western Nigeria Security Network Agency, codenamed Amotekun, said it is critical that the Federal Government revisit the issue.
Makinde made this statement while receiving the Conference of Speakers of State Legislators, South-West Chapter, which was led by its chairman and Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Adeoye Aribasoye.
The speakers paid a courtesy visit on the governor in his office in Ibadan over the January 16 explosion in Bodija.
The governor maintained that there is a need for collaboration and cooperation between the executive arm of government and the legislators to deliver dividends of democracy and bring development to the people.
The governor said, “I want to observe that you need to all come together irrespective of the political party that brought you into office. This is a demonstration that the electioneering period is over and you need to have everybody pulling together to govern and deliver dividends of democracy to our people.”
While speaking on the security challenges in the country, Makinde maintained that the establishment of state police is an idea whose time has come and that the fears in some quarters that states would not be able to maintain state police are unfounded.
He cited the example of Oyo State where the payment of salaries and pensions has never been an issue despite the economic challenges in the country.
Makinde said, “A lot of people may not know that before we launched Amotekun in this state, some of us governors went to the Federal Government and we asked to be allowed to set up state police for our various states but we did not get that approval during the time of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I disagreed at that particular time and still disagree to date that the states are not in the position to maintain state police. I have never seen where the Federal Government went to a particular state and gave the police everything they needed. So, the states are already maintaining the police.”
Makinde said that the police are on the exclusive list, but if that responsibility is split and states have to run their police system, they should have access to resources from the federation account to meet the responsibility of maintaining the police.
“So, the issue of being unable to maintain state police will not arise again. Give us the responsibility first and see if certain states will be able to maintain it or not.
“But since we could not get state police, we settled for Amotekun. All the state assemblies in the South West passed a common law for its establishment. So, we have to be pushing for state police, and you lawmakers have a role to play to make that a reality.”