Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh is the Deputy Majority Leader of Lagos House of Assembly. He is in his second term representing the good people of Apapa Constituent 11.
In this interview with Chamberlain Usor of Channels Television he said he is in full of the National Assembly call for a State police.
What do you make of the call for the creation of State police and community policing by the National Assembly?
Apparently the recent happenings in Zamfara and Benue states gave credence for such call. For us in Lagos state we believe that since we are operating a federated state, there is need for us to have state and community police.
Aristotle in his book, Politics said, “People of the same customs, culture and tradition can govern themselves better “.
It is very difficult for somebody from Taraba to police my own community (Ijora Badia), under the present federal structure that we operate. Before the commissioner of police could get instruction from the IG in Abuja, there would have been many casualties on ground.
For instance, when you get to Heathrow (Airport), the first police you get in contact with is the Cosmopolitan police. They are local government police. They will check you no matter who you are and where you are coming from.
But we don’t see checking at airport as the responsibility of our local governments. Everything must be done by the Federal government.
If we are operating a federal government, we must do it holistically. We must not pretend as if we are practising quasi- federalism.
Some states already have their own state and community police. But what it requires now is to give it a legal framework. What is your take on this?
It is important to have the legal framework. What the National Assembly is doing now I am in support of it. But we still need the support of the executive especially the presidency to buy into it. Because, when it comes to the area of getting ammunitions, and training those who are recruited for the job, it is no longer the legislature business anymore.
There must be collaboration between the executive and the legislature for us to really get it done.
What do you say to those who entertain certain fears that politicians may just hijack the state police for their own selfish interest?
I agree with Montesquieu statement that power corrupt, absolute power corrupt absolutely. But beyond that the State High Courts are established by the State governments. But it has been given judgment against the state government that created it. The same thing will happen.
All we need to do is to develop an enabling law that will guide the process.
Don’t forget that we have the fundamental human rights in our constitution, African charter on Human rights. Even the United Nations Human rights declaration is there to seek redress against the actions of the state police or community police.
I agree with you that there is tendency for people to abuse such power. But that is not enough for us to not to go ahead to develop our federalism to the fullest.
So, you agree that state police will solve the majority of the security problems that we are having now?
Yes. Majority of the problems be solved with state or community police.