AIG backtracks over Nigeria not mature for state police comment

Friday Ajagunna
Friday Ajagunna
Benjamin Okolo

The Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) at the Force Headquarters, Benjamin Okolo, has retracted a comment he made that Nigeria is not ripe for state police.

AIG Okolo said he was not directed by the Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, to disagree with the position of former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar and the former President, Goodluck Jonathan.

NewMailNG had reported how the senior police officer stated that Nigeria was not “mature” for state police at a national dialogue on state police organised by the House of Representatives in Abuja, on Monday.

He had also proposed that the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) should be merged to become a department in the police.

At the event held at Abuja Continental Hotel in the Federal Capital Territory, AIG Okolo had expressly stated that he was representing the IGP at the dialogue when he mounted the podium.

“It is the submission of the leadership of the Nigerian police force that Nigeria is yet to mature and ready for the establishment of state-controlled police. In view of this, the police leadership is rather recommending the following instead of creating state police:.

“First, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Federal Road Safety, will form a department under the Nigerian police,” the senior cop said during the dialogue.

But retracting the comment at a press briefing at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, on Tuesday, Okolo said he only made the comment in his personal capacity to stimulate the discourse, and not the official position of the IGP and the police force.

“My expressions on state police at the session held at the Abuja Continental Hotel on April 22, 2024, are my personal opinion to stimulate the discourse. They are not the views of the Inspector-General of Police or the Nigeria Police Force,” the senior cop said.

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