From MOSHOOD ADEBAYO, Abeokuta
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital faulted the call for state police by some Nigerians, warning that it was not the best for the country.
Obasanjo spoke while playing host to the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of zone 2, Mamman Tsafe, at his Abeokuta Hill Top residence, saying the country was not ripe yet for state police. According to the Obasanjo, the establishment of state police would be inimical to the corporate existence of the nation.
While reasoning that state police was susceptible to manipulation, the former president recalled the experiences of native police during both the pre-independence and early post-independence era were not palatable.
His words: “You know I’m a young man but I have been around for quite some time and those of us who have the experience of local government police, native authority police and the atrocities they committed against opponents, not just political, but economic and social opponents.
“Now we dread the idea of those days coming back. I believe what we have now, people who have maintained institutional memory will know that we didn’t wake up one day to be where we are. “Certain things lead us to where we are, but nothing is static; I believe we may also be making progress and move on and get to a stage where we can say yes we are matured, we have reached a stage where even we can have city police. “But by my own experience, with the short span of life I have as a Nigerian, we should not repeat the experience of the 50s and 60s.”