Governors’ forum signifies interest in the devolution of powers

Channels Television  
Updated November 28, 2012

The thirteenth edition of Nigerian governors’ forum focused on constitutional issues as the governors are considering a review of the devolution of power in the amendment of the constitution.

The meeting which was held in Abuja during the day as the governors walked into the River state governors’ lodge for the closed door session.This further showed the urgency and importance of the issues to be discussed ranging from devolution of powers, revenue allocation, local government autonomy, land use act, national youth service act and security (state police) as we were informed after the meeting by the Chairman of the forum; Governor Chibuike Amaechi, he also read the agreement reached by the forum and added that the forum considered the growing clamour for revenue allocation and autonomy of local government administration.

He however stated that the forum is yet to reach a consensus on the issues.

Some of the state governors renewed the call for the establishment of state police amidst disagreement from their colleagues.

Speaking with newsmen after the meeting, Governor Rochas Okorocha, stated that the Federal Government is carrying a heavy burden on itself, which is affecting the pace of development in the country.

Specifically on state police he said, “On the issue of state police, we have divided opinion. We have some people who believe that we should have state police and some believe that state police in the hands of politicians might be abused.

“Some of us, we believe that state police, community police, village police is the best way to go. Police should be decentralised to enable them really function at the grass root level.

On devolution of powers he said “there should be a distinction between federal police, state police. Whether we like it or not, we have community police, we have local government police and we have family police and you have police everywhere. Police is ability to check crime.

The position of the state governors is indeed a sensitive one which could have its consequences on the review of the 1999 constitution.