28 November 2012

Nigeria: Governors Mull Devolution of Powers, Still Divided On State Police

The Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), yesterday, signified their interest in the devolution of powers from the federal government ahead of the constitution review.

This comes as Governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha, revealed that the governors were yet to reach a consensus on the establishment of state police.

Rising from a five hour meeting that started at 10 am in Abuja, they further disclosed that all other issues relevant to the constitution review were ongoing.

Chairman of the Forum and Rivers State Governor Chibuike Ameachi, in a communiqué, said that the forum "extensively deliberated on devolution of powers, revenue allocation, local government autonomy, land use act, national youth service act and security".

He said that discussion on the issues were still ongoing and added "members also reviewed a number of other issues including polio eradication and agreed to continue dialoguing with all stakeholders."

Asked by newsmen for details on devolution of powers and other issues, Governor said that they were yet to reach a position on the matter.

Speaking with newsmen after the meeting, Governor Rochas Okorocha, stated that the federal government was carrying a heavy which was affecting the pace of development in the country.

Specifically on state police he said, "On the issue of state police, we have divided opinion. We have some people who believe that we should have state police and some believe that state police in the hands of politicians might be abused.

"Some of us, we believe that state police, community police, village police is the best way to go. Police should be decentralised to enable them really function at the grass root level.

On devolution of powers he said "there should be a distinction between federal police, state police. Whether we like it or not, we have community police, we have local government police and we have family police and you have police everywhere. Police is ability to check crime.

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