I now support state police, says Paul Unongo

Second Republic Power and Steel Minister, Chief paul Unongo says he has repented of his advocacy against state police, saying that the unfolding situation in the country that has given rise to insecurity of life and property has better informed him about the futility of running a centralised police system.
Speaking on the issue, elder statesman and former Minister of Steel, Wantaregh Paul Unongo said: “I have been a signatory and I have also been a participant in the writing of most of the constitutions of this country and I was one of  those vehemently opposed to the proposal for State Police. Because we used to think that if you had State Police, state governments would transform themselves into regional powers and they would confront the federation that we were just trying to build after the war.
“Now, we have ran the federation like a democratic institution with a clear purpose since 1979 because all constitutions for now take their origin from the 1979 constitution. With the practice we have now and the chaotic situation we have in the application of the architecture of the security in our country, leading to these multiple killings, I am so sorry to say that I am a new convert. I now believe and support State Police.
“We should call it community policing because the job is absolutely impossible for the centralized Nigerian Police. They have shown it in their numbers, they have shown it in their predisposition and they have shown it in the huge number of Nigerian citizens that have been killed.
“The primary duty of every single government created by the constitution which we wrote is the protection of lives and property of the citizenry and, so far, too many Nigerian citizens have died because of lack of effective policing.
Too many of them have lost their freedom through kidnapping, cattle rustling and all those religious, ethnic and the semi Boko Haram known as herdsmen/farmers killings.
“I think anybody that has been through this country would say, even if it is on a temporary basis, we should have state Police or community police to assist in the proper policing of our country, otherwise we are heading towards anarchy.
“So, I have very strong sympathy for community or state police. Now, how can you call a state governor the Chief Security Officer of the state by constitution and you hamstring him without any police to implement the laws that his House of Assembly has the right to pass?
“I think from all intents and purposes, there was wisdom in the good old days that we had regions and regional police before we went ahead and killed it.
“We should know that we need state or community police and we can write in the constitution, just like they have in the United States, where the president can have the power in critical crisis situation, like a governor threatening the unity of Nigeria, he can evoke existing laws of the federal might as it exists in the United States.
“So I have tremendous sympathy, I support state police, I support community police because experience has now taught us Nigerians that we need that for us to survive.”

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/05/60-killed-twin-blasts-adamawa-mosque-market/

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