This is not including the contributions of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Gombe states, hitherto referred to as the frontline states having virtually been the theatres of war and critical flashpoints at the peak of the war against insurgency in the country.
States across the nation has spent billions in helping to buy necessary equipment for the Police, said a research conducted by the media department of Nigeria Governors’ Forum Secretariat’s monthly magazine The Executive Summary.
In July 2017 the Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris approached the Nigeria Governors’ Forum at their meeting in Aso Rock Villa seeking cap-in-hand, the sum of N3tr as assistance from states.
The purchases by the governors have covered such items as Hilux trucks, Armoured Personnel carriers, Helicopters, River Gun Boats, Horses, Communication equipment, uniforms and handcuffs among others.
The report said that in 2015 alone Lagos State under Governor Akinwunmi Ambode spent over N4.765bn on helping to sustain the Federal Police.
It also reported that in subsequent years going forward, the state also bought and donated to the police, 100 4-door Saloon cars, 55 Ford Ranger Pick-up trucks, 10 Toyota Landcruiser Pick-up trucks, 15 BMW power-bikes, 100 Isuzu trucks, three helicopters, two gunboats, 15 Armoured Personnel Carriers, revolving lights, sirens, communication gadgets, helmets, handcuffs among many other police requirements.
Looking at the donations in retrospect, Governor Ambode’s predecessor, Babatunde Raji Fashola also donated 50 patrol vehicles, 10 Armoured Personnel carriers, 100 walkie-talkies and 200 bullet-proof jackets apart from the establishment of an ICT Resource Centre for the police in Lagos State.
It is not Lagos alone that has donated generously to the police. Kano, Kaduna, Kwara, Cross Rivers, Ebonyi and Abia States have all, at various times, donated generously to the police force towards ensuring the safety and security of their peoples and their property.
The magazine, which accompanied its story with an expenditure table of some of the purchases and donations made to the police by more than twenty of the states, also quoted the lamentations of some of the state governors who in spite of these donations have been unable to enjoy even the partial loyalty of the federal police at their most critical hour of need.
Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State, for example, was quoted as having said that “I am sitting here as governor, but I cannot control one police troop whenever crises break in my state.”
His Zamfara State counterpart and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar had, at one time, even relinquished his position as the Chief Security Officer of his state, in frustration.
The governors through the instrumentality of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum view this situation as absolutely unacceptable.
It is for these and several other reasons that the governors have been agitating for the creation of state police so that the safety of lives and property in the country would be firmly rested in the hands of those who spend their resources in sustaining the police force.
However, in response to those who argue that governors would abuse the privilege if given, Governor Mohammed Abdullahi of Bauchi State argued that those who hold that view are fearful because they have restricted their thinking to building individuals rather than building institutions.
The magazine recalls that most states of the federation have already resorted to supporting vigilante groups and some have even gone further to establish various types of self-help security formations like the Bakasi Boys in Abia, KAI in Lagos, Civilian JTF in the northeast, Karota in Kano and several others that fill the vacuum created by the absence of the federal police in their states.