Governors of the 19 northern states have said they will not support the call for the establishment of state police.
They said the country was not ripe for such creation.
The governors took this decision at their meeting in Abuja on Thursday night. The meeting was attended by 18 out of the 19 governors.
The northern governors’ position was, however, contrary to an earlier position taken by all the 36 governors about a month ago.
All the governors, under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, had agreed that the insecurity problem in the country would best be tackled with the establishment of a state police.
But the northern governors said in their communiqué, which was signed by their Chairman, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, that the constitution must be amended to enable them to control commissioners of police in their respective states.
Aliyu, who is also the governor of Niger State, read the communiqué.
He said, “The forum is not in support of the creation of state police.
“It, however, resolved to prevail on the Federal Government to embark on police reform that will assist the states in the control and management of police affairs on a sound philosophy of modern policing by amending the provision of Section 215 of the constitution.”
The section reads, “Subject to the provision of this section, the governor or such commissioner of the government of the state as he may authorise in that behalf may give to the commissioner of police of that state such lawful directions with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order within the state as he may consider necessary, and the commissioner of police shall comply with those directives or cause them to be complied with.”
They canvassed the deleting of the proviso (Section 214) of the constitution, which requires that the order from the governor must be endorsed by the Inspector-General of Police.
On the tenure of the President and governors, the northern governors said the extant provision of the constitution “that provides for two terms of four years for President and governors be maintained.”