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A retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police, AIG, Felix Ogbaudu has said that poor funding by most state governments would make the establishment of state police worse in the country.
Ogbaudu, who described the idea of state police by some governors as a welcome development, however said the time was inauspicious considering the continued dwindling economy of the country.
The former AIG in charge of FCT, Niger and Kaduna States, said in an interview with newsmen in Abuja that Nigeria could not afford additional burden of state police when virtually all the state governments, except three, were presently owing civil servants and pensioners backlogs of salary arrears and entitlements.
“The issue of state police is a very welcome development. If you take Unites States for instance where we were virtually copy everything from, it is working so well there, but back home here in Nigeria, the time is most inauspicious,” he said.
He further maintained: “So the time is inauspicious, states cannot fund the state police now because you can afford to not to pay the civil servants, you can’t afford not to pay police officers because you will be compromising security.
“Don’t forget, while civil servants who are not paid have the right to go on strike or to demonstrate for not being paid, the constitution forbids the policeman for ever going on strike. So, no matter his burden, he must not go on strike.
“If you have state police and you don’t pay them salaries, these are people that are carrying lethal weapons, you can imagine what will happen,” the retired police chief warned.
Ogbaudu affirmed that for the state police force not to end like “the Ajaokuta Steel Company, which was a beautiful project, the nation’s economy has to be stabilised for all the states to do well before we can talk of that.”
The Delta State-born retired AIG commended the anti-corruption drive of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, saying it had been so far so good against the perception by some people that it was vindictive and selective.
“For me, the anti-corruption drive is alright. If you think it is vindictive and that someone out there is being shielded, mention his name, produce the evidence and forward it to them and see whether they will take action or not.
“But sitting down there and saying it is vindictive is not right. Most of the guys that have been arrested have confessed to committing the offence. If you look at the newspapers’ headlines, you will see something like ‘Jonathan directed Dasuki to give me money.”
According to him, Nigeria is faced with corruption and other problems, adding that concerted effort was needed to chart a way forward.

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