Kaduna Journalist Warns Against State Police as a Quick Fix for Insecurity - News Panorama

By Zakari Isah - Kaduna

In a thought-provoking statement, Mr. Andrew Ibrahim Mshelia, a Kaduna-based journalist and public commentator, has raised concerns about the efficacy of state police in addressing the security challenges faced by various states. 

While some state governors advocate for the establishment of state police forces, Mr. Mshelia argues that this approach may not provide a swift solution to the insecurity plaguing their regions. Instead, he suggests that it could serve as a backdoor strategy for extending their tenure in office.

Mr. Mshelia emphasizes that sincerity on the part of state governors is crucial. If they genuinely care about safeguarding lives and property, their efforts should extend beyond merely advocating for state police. He proposes several alternative measures that could have a more significant impact:

1. Programs and Initiatives: Rather than focusing solely on policing, state governments should roll out comprehensive programs. These could include economic support, prompt payment of workers' salaries, and microloans for small-scale businesses. Addressing economic hardship is essential for reducing vulnerability to criminal activities.

2. Transparency and Accountability: Mr. Mshelia questions the use of funds received by state governments. Billions of naira allocated for palliatives after fuel subsidy removal and increased monthly allocations remain unaccounted for. Transparency and accountability are critical to building trust with citizens.

3. Local Context Matters: Understanding local dynamics is crucial for effective policing. A Yoruba officer deployed to Sokoto would need time to learn the local language and intricacies before effectively combating crime. Similarly, deploying officers from one region to another requires cultural understanding.

4. Enabling Environment and Job Creation: State governors should create an enabling environment for economic growth and job creation. When people have legitimate opportunities, they are less likely to turn to crime out of desperation.

5. Salary Payment: Mr. Mshelia highlights the irony of arming hungry and unpaid workers. Ensuring timely salary payments is fundamental to maintaining a stable workforce and preventing frustration that could lead to criminal behavior.

6. Pensioners' Plight: The plight of pensioners, often neglected, deserves attention. Ensuring their well-being is part of responsible governance.

In summary, while state police may be part of the solution, addressing insecurity requires a holistic approach. State governments must prioritize the welfare of their citizens, foster transparency, and create an environment where crime becomes less appealing. Only then can we hope for lasting change in our communities.

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