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by Usman Alabi
A bill yesterday seeking to amend section 214 of the constitution to give room for state and community police in the country scaled through the second reading in the house of representatives.
The bill which was sponsored by Hon Dada Awoyemi seeks to replace the word “force” with “service” in its nomenclature. Hon Awoyemi said that there was urgent need for an amendment to the 1999 constitution to allow for state police in all the states of the federation especially in view of the present security situation in the country. He further stated that the establishment of the state and community police was necessary as it would equip officers with the requisite knowledge of the terrains where they operate. According to him “the police is supposed to be for the people”.
Hon Oladele Kayode in his contribution to the debate said that the establishment of state police was long overdue as the present structure is colonial in nature, hence the need for policing to be more effective and the structure decentralized.
It would be recalled that the 7th Assembly under President Jonathan’s administration raised the issue of state police in the amendment of the constitution but the president declined assent.
The bill was referred to the special committee on constitution amendment.