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Bill for creation of State Police passes second reading at House of Reps

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A Bill for an Act to provide for state police in Nigeria, on Tuesday, scaled second reading at the House of Representatives.

Rep. Onofiok Luke (PDP-Akwa-Ibom) who sponsored the bill, said it was aimed at removing the police from exclusive list to concurrent list, towards enhancing the security of lives and property in the country.

He said it would also help to reduce crimes at the grassroots, by complementing the role of the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies in crime control.

“We have had some security challenges and some states have had to set up state security apparatus to fill in the gap,” Luke said.

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The lawmaker said this was due to an upsurge in crime following the current security challenges in the country, which appeared to have overwhelmed the police.

In his submission, Rep. Tobi Ukechukwu (PDP-Enugu), said the creation of state police was germane to the survival of the country.

“About an hour ago, we observed a minute silence in honour of those killed in Kaduna, children have been taken captive and we have had situation in this country that ordinarily this issue of state police should have been addressed,” he said.

He said the bill was a patriotic move by the sponsor, stressing that the exclusive list needed to shed weight, and this would ensure a well-secured country.

“There is no state that does not run its own vigilance group as at now, but they are lacking the power to bear arms, arrest and prosecute.

“We cannot be pretending that everything is okay, it is not a joke that schools are closed in Kaduna,” he said.

Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, put the bill to a voice vote and it was unanimously adopted and referred to the House Ad Hoc Committee on the review of 1999 Constitution.

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