The Lagos State House of Assembly has passed a resolution urging the National Assembly to commence an urgent constitutional amendment to allow for the creation of state police.
The lawmakers said the call followed the growing threats of kidnapping and other forms of insecurity in Nigeria.
At a plenary session on Monday, presided over by the Speaker, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, the House also called for the proper equipping of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps to support other security agencies in Lagos State.
Expressing concern over the pervasive insecurity across the country, Obasa, who spoke under ‘Matter of Urgent Public Importance’, said: “At the weekend, we heard of the attack on a commercial bus and the passengers abducted.”
Highlighting a recent kidnapping incident in the Ikorodu area of Lagos, Obasa noted the constant call by the House for the establishment of state police, adding that the country’s security system was overstretched.
“This time around, the National Assembly should be our focus. They don’t have to wait till the twilight of their tenure to start a constitutional amendment.
“This administration is at the beginning of its four years. So the National Assembly should begin the amendment now, and we should be part of it to put an end to the issue of state police,” he said.
The speaker allayed fears that governors could hijack the state police to their advantage, saying the law should put a system in place to check excesses.
Obasa therefore urged the state government to allocate a specific percentage from the Security Trust Fund to strengthen the corps in the state.
The speaker said it would be good for the root causes of insecurity to be addressed through effective youth engagement initiatives, including sports.
“We must consider factors that lead to insecurity. Poverty: in this period of rising inflation, we can continue bringing relief to our people. Sports have been a very effective tool to take our youth away from crime,” he added.
Contributing to the debate, Mr Aro Moshood (APC-Ikorodu Constituency II) shared a harrowing account of the recent kidnapping incident in Igbogbo Bayeku, Ijede Local Council Development Area.
Moshood appealed to the government for enhanced security surveillance in the area.
Speaking, Mr Ajayi Oladele (APC-Ibeju-Lekki II) stressed the need for proactive measures by the government, noting the influx of people into Lagos without a proper accommodation plan.