ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
The first Military Governor of old Rivers State, Alfred Diete-Spiff, has thrown his weight behind the calls for the establishment of state police, describing those against it as ignorant and confused.
Diette-Spiff, who is the Chairman of the Bayelsa State Council of Traditional Rulers and the Amayanabo of Twon-Brass, stated this at the launch of a book titled, ‘Gbogbosi-Gbogbosi (Never Again)’, at the State Secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Yenagoa.
The book is a collection of memoirs of the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970) and diary of Major Michael Oputa (rtd.) written by I.B Osborne Robinson.
Diette-Spiff said the creation of state police would improve security, increase employment and give more people a sense of belonging in peace, stability and security of the country.
He, however, restated that those against the calls for state police were not in tune with the current situation in the country.
Diete-Spiff said: “Those against state police are wrong. If you make laws, you must have people to enforce them. It’s like breaking egg to make an omelette. Why should people refuse state police based on the claim that state governors will hijack it for personal gains?
“If the country wants to go Parliamentary, we should stay Parliamentary. If we want to stay Presidential system, we should stay presidential. We should even have police at the local government levels. If they are entitled it is right. Frankly, the country should develop slowly. But if we go too fast, what we predicted could happen.”
“In the past, the local government councils had their police. They had the customary police and they did a good job. But today, we deploy the military even to road blocks to the extent that they have lost their respect in society.
“Let us have state police, we have come a long way. And when you imagine a situation where policemen from each state are on the ground, who will go and hide in the bushes. It will even create more jobs. It will make people have a sense of belonging in the country called Nigeria.”
King Diette-Spiff also cautioned authors writing on the country’s civil war to always be careful not to open old wounds with their books as old wounds are hard to heal.