On VOA yesterday, the President said he had ordered the recruitment of 6,000 policemen to boost security in the country. But he said he feared that states might not be able to fund their own police, which many governors and others are pushing for.
He urged Nigerians to abide by constitutional provisions on the matter.
Governors are the leading advocates of state police. In February, Nigeria Governors’ Forum
Chairman and Zamfara State Governor Abdulaziz Yari said the creation of state police would help in addressing insecurity in the country.
At the end of a summit organised by the Senate Ad hoc Committee on Review of Current Security Infrastructure in Nigeria, he said: “Today we have reiterated the position of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
“And the position of the security summit we held in August, that there is a need for state police; we can say it is the only answer.”
But, the creation of state police, the President said, would not augur well for the finances of the states, adding that some of them were finding it difficult to meet their financial obligations to workers and other needs.
“We must carefully look at the position of the Constitution on the issue of state police before we take a final decision on the matter; if the Constitution allows state police , so be it.
“But don’t forget that many times the Federal Government gave out what we referred to as ‘bail out’ to state governments for payment of workers’ salaries. How many states can pay salary promptly? And you want to add more financial burden to them.
“It is not proper to employ a person, train him on how to handle weapons and then refuse to pay him – you can imagine what would happen in such situation.’’
According to him, his statement on some Nigerian youths being lazy was quoted out of context. The President said he hardly listened to music.
He said additional measures were being put in place to check insecurity.
“We will put in place more measures to check insecurity in the country , including increasing the number of policemen and training them.
“I have approved the recruitment of 6,000 policemen by the police authorities and I directed that those recruited must come from all the 774 local government areas of the federation.
“Even if it means recruiting one person each from the 774 local governments, they should do that instead of going to motor parks, railway stations or market for the recruitment.
“I gave (police authorities) them this directive,’’ he said.