OrderPaperToday – To be or not to be? This was the option placed before Nigerians on Twitter via poll conducted on whether Nigeria should implement state police in order to combat sub-national security threats and consolidate existing policing structure in Nigeria.
Recall that OrderPaper Nigeria has been implementing a signature project on the constitution review exercise by the National Assembly, titled OPEN- OrderPaper Parliamentary Engagement Nigeria (OPEN) during which state police featured.
In the first OPEN conversation, tagged “Nation-building and Constitution Review” held on 26th May 2021, and chaired by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, Deputy President of the Senate, and Chairman, Senate Committee on Review of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) stakeholders agreed that “state police should be a priority in the amended Constitution, but a Constitution-backed check-and-balance system should be initiated to prevent abuse by the Governors.”
Other eminent Nigerians who attended the OPEN event were: Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, Member, House of Representatives; and Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, accomplished businessman and elder statesman.
The Twitter survey which was was conducted to further galvanize citizens participation and elicit their response on the constitution review posed that: ” Do you support state police to be included in the ongoing constitution amendment?”
The outcome of the survey revealed that 82% of the respondents said ‘YES’ to the establishment of state police; while 12% and 6% responded ‘NO’ and ‘NOT AT THIS TIME’ respectively.
One of the respondents in his comment opined that “I support state police but it should be done in a way that it won’t be easy for governors to misuse it.”
Similarly, another respondent submitted that “I support state police because they understand the security system of a state better, but our country is too premature to handle state police consequences.”
The majority result as seen in the survey is an indication of the plight of Nigerians yearning for safe and secured nation.
While citizens’ have established a strong opinion on the demand for the establishment of state police, the onus is on the National Assembly, the apex policy-making body in the country, to look into the direction of Nigerians as the lawmakers resume to their duty post after the Christmas holiday.