C’ River rejects state police

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The people of Cross River State on Saturday opposed the call for the amendment of Section 214 (1) of the 1999 Constitution to facilitate the creation of state police in the country,

They made their position known at the various public hearings held in the eight federal constituencies of the state.

This came just as the member representing Akamkpa/Biase constituency in the House of Representatives, Mr. Daniel Asuquo, promised that all the resolutions of the people from the various constituencies would be properly presented without distortion.

Some of the participants also argued that the present federal police structure was good enough to handle the security situation in the country.

They, however, said state governors should be given more powers to control the commissioner of police.

A legal practitioner from Akamkpa/Biase Federal Constituency, Mr. Etim Inyang, said it was unfair for state governors to be called chief security officers without any control.

Also, contributors at the Akpabuyo/Bakassi/Calabar South Federal Constituency said the present federal structure of the Nigeria Police Force should remain.

The constituencies also voted for amendment to Section 197 (1) of the Constitution to abolish the state Independent Electoral Commission.

They said the present Independent National Electoral Commission should be strengthened to allow them conduct all elections in the country.

They called for the amendment of the Section 162 (1) of the constitution to abolish the State Joint Local Government Account and to allow local government councils to receive their allocations directly.

A public servant, Mr. John Egba, said the state joint account allocation had crippled the development of rural areas in many states.

He said, “It has reduced the administration of local government areas to a mere annex of the state government,”

The people of Odukpani/Calabar Municipality Federal Constituency also voted for the amendment of the constitution to accord local councils the status of third tier of government with its legislative list.

All the federal constituencies voted unanimously for equality of states among the six geo-political zones of Nigeria.

A former Minister for Health, Dr. Emmanuel Nsa, said there was the need for the amendment of Section 8 of the Constitution to remove ambiguities in the process of creation of states.

“Let us make creation of states easier by advocating a simple majority in the National Assembly so that those who have genuine cases for state creation should have it.

“All the geopolitical zones should have equal number of states,” he said.

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