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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called for the creation of state guards instead of state police to check insecurity at sub-national levels. He also canvassed the appointment of civilians to head the Police Service Commission (PSC).

Obasanjo said the use of civilians as heads of PSC would address the incessant clashes between the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the commission.

The former president insisted that the persons appointed as chairman of the PSC must be a civilian and not a retired police officer.

On the creation of state police, the former president said though the book spoke for the creation of state police, he is calling for the creation of a state guard that would assist in tackling the challenges of insecurity in the states.

He stated that the argument of state governors abusing the state police cannot stand the test of time as even the federal government has been found guilty of misusing the police too.

Obasanjo spoke yesterday at the public presentation of a book: “Policing the Nigeria Police” written by a former chairman of the PSC, Simon Okeke.

Obasanjo said it would be a disservice to the nation to appoint a retired police officer to head a supervising agency that oversees the activities of the police officers.

He further stated that the mandate of the PSC as stated in the 2001 ACT that established it, clearly stated its job and responsibilities, however, the inspector-generals of police have oftentimes, gone beyond their duties to interfere with the jobs of the PSC.

Obasanjo stated that the Nigeria Police must be allowed to be thoroughly monitored and supervised as stated in the PSC Act and the PSC must be allowed to do their normal oversight functions.

Also speaking at the event, the writer, Okeke, appreciated the participants for attending the programme.

The chief launcher, Engr. Emeka Okwuosa, who supported the project with N20 million, said the book is a manual for serving and retired police officers.

Abeeb Atanda

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