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State Police: Some State Governors Act Like Emperors – Abah

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A former Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Joe Abah, has said there should be checks and balances to prevent some governors from abusing state police.

The social commentator said some governors are already abusing power, but that is no reason not to support the creation of state police.

Speaking during an appearance on Inside Sources with Laolu Akande on Channels Television on Friday, Abah said some governors behave like “emperors” and can use the police to score political points.

Abah said the creation of state police is the right move, considering the enormous security challenges in the country at the moment.

He said: “We have a system where governors are virtually emperors.

“When some people say: ‘State police will never work, governors will abuse it’. Are they not abusing the office now? Rather than say it won’t work, let’s put in safeguards. How is it going to be funded? Let’s our heads together and think through a solution. How do we stop it from becoming a political weapon during elections? Let’s think through that and put it in the right kind of clauses.”

He cited Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in Lagos State, Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, and Dave Umahi, the ex-Governor of Ebonyi State who is now the Minister of Works, as some governors who have done well so far.

New Constitution

Abah said a new constitution will not happen if Nigerians wait on the National Assembly, suggesting that there is nothing wrong with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) coming up with a draft constitution that is open for debate.

He said: “I see no reason why the NBA cannot draw up a draft constitution and throw it up in the space for deliberation.”

Abah also said the country’s constitution should be totally overhauled every 20 years to meet up with contemporary realities, lamenting that despite all the inadequacies of the 1999 Constitution, no President in the last 25 years has come up with an executive bill for its amendment.

“I’m beginning to believe that we’ve designed a system that makes sure we don’t use power for developmental purposes,” he said.

System Of Government

He, however, said a switch from the presidential system to the parliamentary system would do Nigeria a lot of good as this will make the executive and legislature, which have the power of appropriation, more accountable to the people.

“I don’t think the presidential system is better than the parliamentary system of government,” he said.

Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows.