July 18, 2024

Barring last-minute change, the House of Representatives is set to deliberate on a proposed legislation aimed at establishing state police.

This is as the lower legislative chamber will also likely consider the acquisition of a degree as a prerequisite for aspirants to political offices in the country.

The proposed legislation on state police is entitled: “A Bill for an Act to Alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, to Provide for Establishment of State Police and for Related Matters.” It has been slated for second reading on the order paper of the House before the week runs out.

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr Benjamin Okezie Kalu, and 17 other lawmakers are behind the bill.

Though details of the proposed legislation are yet to be made public by the office of the Deputy Speaker, the initiative is aimed at addressing security challenges in the country.

Kalu, who is the initiator of the Peace in the South East Project (PISE-P), had, during the inaugural meeting of the Constitution Review Committee, identified the bill on the creation of state police, alongside 39 other bills, as bills that would preoccupy the attention of the 10th National Assembly.

Yeyeoba Onanuga, who sponsored the Bill for an Act to Alter the 1999 Constitution to Change the Educational Qualification for Election into political offices, contended that his initiative would help Nigerians to sufficiently prepare for the task of political leadership.

“As we have begun to see, the race for elective offices at both state and national levels has become increasingly competitive. While this is good as a tenet of universal suffrage, it can also be counterproductive if people who are not sufficiently prepared, educationally, get into these elective offices,” he argued, while leading debate on the floor of the House, presided by Speaker Tajudeen Abbas.

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