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Balance call for State Police against fear of politicisation, arms proliferation, says AGF

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The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, has advised proponents of State Police to balance it against fears of politicisation of Police activities, arms proliferation and bias.

The Minister of Justuce gave the advice in his address at the opening of a two-day retreat organised by Southern Senators’ Forum in Calabar on Friday.

He said that while there was no doubt that state police services may ensure deeper grassroots penetration, the fears of abuse should not be undermined.

“The discourse here has largely been driven by arguments by several State and non-State actors in favour of the establishment of State Police Forces or Services, as the case may be.

“Arguments both ways are quite persuasive in my opinion.

“There is no doubt that state police services may ensure deeper grassroots penetration by operatives of the Police due to greater understanding of local conditions, give governors more de-facto supervision of security and create employment opportunities.

“We must, however, balance them against fears of proponents of a strict Federal Police.

“They fear the negative possibility of respective state police operatives supporting their respective communities, say in the case of a boundary dispute between States,’’ he said.

On Federal Character principle as contained in the 1999 Constitution, Malami said it was one the most potent provisions for securing the unity of Nigeria.

He said that federal character provision as reiterated under Section 14(4) of the Constitution reflected geographical diversity and fairness in the composition of their various bureaucracies.