The 19 northern governors and traditional rulers in the northern region have called for the amendment of the 1999 Constitution to give legal backing to state police.
They said this was the only way to tackle the myriad security challenges affecting the region and the country at large, among them banditry, insurgency, kidnapping and other forms of criminalities.
This recommendation was contained in the communiqué issued at the end of the meeting of the Northern Governors Forum (NGF) and the Northern Traditional Rulers Council (NTRC) held in Abuja, Daily Trust reports.
The outcome of the meeting was released on Tuesday and it was the first time the northern governors, sitting together with traditional leaders in the region, made a strong case for the need to allow states to establish police forces.
At the meeting were chairman of NGF and Plateau State governor, Simon Bako Lalong; Gombe State governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya; Katsina State governor, Aminu Bello Masari; Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai; Kebbi State governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu; Borno State governor, Babagana Umara Zulum; Niger State governor, Abubakar Sani Bello; Taraba State governor, Darius Dickson Ishaku; and deputy governors of Adamawa, Benue, Nasarawa and Jigawa states respectively.
Traditional rulers present included the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III; Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai El-Kanemi; Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero; Emir of Zazzau, Ambassador Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli; Emir of Fika, Alhaji Muhammadu Abali Ibn Muhammadu Idrissa; Emir of Lafia, Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad; Emir of Anka, Alhaji Attahiru Muhammad Ahmad, Emir of Gumi, Justice Lawal Hassan Gumi; Attah Igala, Mathew Opaluwa; Ochi’Idoma, Pastor John Elaigwu; and Aku Uka of Wukari, Elder Manu Ishaku Adda Ali, among others.
Reading the communiqué after the meeting held at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja, NGF Chairman, Lalong said the meeting reviewed the security situation in the North and other matters relating to its development and resolved to support the amendment of the 1999 Constitution to accommodate the establishment of state police.
According to him, “This will effectively and efficiently address the security challenges of the region,” the communiqué said.