Northern Governors Oppose Single Term, State Police

Dr. Babangida Aliyu. Photo: SaharaReporters Governors of the 19 northern states have said that the constitution that provides for two terms of four years for President and governors be maintained. They also said they will not support the call for the establishment of state police.

The governors took this decision at their meeting in Abuja. The meeting was attended by 18 out of the 19 governors.

This is coming after all the 36 governors had taken an earlier position about a month ago that the insecurity problem in the country would best be tackled with the establishment of state police.

The Chairman of the Northern Nigerian Governors Forum, who is also the Governor of Niger State, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, signed and read the communiqué.

He said, “The forum is not in support of the creation of state police.

“It, however, resolved to prevail on the Federal Government to embark on police reform that will assist the states in the control and management of police affairs on a sound philosophy of modern policing by amending the provision of Section 215 of the constitution.”

The section reads, “Subject to the provision of this section, the governor or such commissioner of the government of the state as he may authorise in that behalf may give to the commissioner of police of that state such lawful directions with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order within the state as he may consider necessary, and the commissioner of police shall comply with those directives or cause them to be complied with.”

They canvassed the deleting of the proviso (Section 214) of the constitution, which requires that the order from the governor must be endorsed by the Inspector-General of Police.

On the tenure of the President and governors, the northern governors said the extant provision of the constitution “that provides for two terms of four years for President and governors be maintained.”

On other issues relating to constitutional amendments, the governors:

• Agreed that each state be allowed to negotiate its own Minimum Wage and that there should not be a National Minimum Wage;

• Decided not to support the recognition of the six geo-political zones in the country and that the idea may only be recognised “for political considerations alone but not be enshrined in the Constitution;”

• Called for the retention of the immunity clause in the Constitution;

• Resolved that the Shore/Offshore dichotomy be reverted, and agreed to meet with the Speakers of State Houses of Assembly in their zones, as well as the members of the National Assembly to deliberate further on the proposed amendment.

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