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IS STATE POLICE A PANACEA TO SECURITY THREAT IN NIGERIA?
The issue of whether or not the states of the Nigerian federation should have their own Police Forces has become a vexed issue in recent time. This is not unconnected with the high and sophisticated crime rate and insecurity attendant with the country. No doubt, the sustenance of order, security of life, legality, development and democracy may be difficult without the roles of the Police in a given polity. If these roles are assessed vis-à-vis the security challenge in Nigeria, it will be right to say that the Federal Policing has performed below expectation. Pseudofederalism, tribes and diverse culture have been the major reasons for the protagonists of the state police. The antagonists have argued against the establishment of State Police stating the fact that the country is not ripe for it and insisting that the state governors might turn them into personal army to fight political oppositions. Would state police solve the security challenges in Nigeria even if it is established? This is a serious question that begs for attention. The crux of this paper is to critically examine the missing link for Nigeria’s security threat. The paper concludes that whether state police is established or not, there is need for constitutional and police reforms to address leadership crisis and corruption in Nigeria. If not, the security situation in Nigeria will continue dwindling.
Keywords: State police, security challenge, leadership crisis, corruption, Nigeria.