The Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) in Nigeria on Wednesday warned against the establishment of state police as panacea for the rising spate of insecurity and banditry in the country.
Alhaji Ibrahim Olaniyan, the National Vice Chairman, South/West of PCRC, gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ado Ekiti.
Olaniyan said that PCRC was opposed to the establishment of state police because it would only cause more harm than good to the security situation in the country.
He insisted that the federal police remained the best to fight crime and improve on the electoral system, unlike the state police “being desperately canvassed by politicians”.
“The state police would be a ready instrument politicians would use to deal with perceived enemies.
“We are not ripe for state police; those calling for state police, especially some governors and politicians, are only canvassing it for selfish interests, not because of national interest.
“For selfish interest because they know they will use it to unleash terror on opponents, especially during elections.
“The only way to combat insecurity is by retaining federal police, and by consistently educating our people on the need to give timely and correct information about the situations around them to the police for prompt action
“The police are not complicit in the insecurity being experienced, because it is the people themselves that are harbouring criminals. They do not report suspected criminals to the police for arrest
“There is also the need for more Nigerians to embrace and join the PCRC so that we can all work to complement information gathering and crime prevention,” he said.
Speaking on the need for strong community policing to make Nigeria free of kidnapping and killings, Olaniyan said: “Policemen are not magicians, while criminals are not ghosts.
“All these people you call criminals are living among us.
“They are not spirits. If they stayed in an hotel, somebody has the hotel and he knows the data of those staying in his premises.
“In the olden days, people had this misconception that if they gave police any information, the police will in turn divulge it for financial gains.
“This is not true of our federal police of today.
“Let us strengthen community policing. Nigeria has over 200 million population and we cannot boast of one million or 500,000 policemen.
“We need to police this nation by ourselves by helping the police with the right information as members of the public.”