The Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai on Friday said he supports the agitation for State Police.
He said in an under-police country, State Police is imperative.
He said having chaired the All Progressives Congress (APC) Committee on True Federalism, he said he could not have opposed State Police.
El-Rufai made the clarifications against the backdrop of disagreement by governors at a meeting of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) on Wednesday in Abuja.
The governor faulted THE NATION’s report on his position at the NGF meeting.
A statement by el-Rufai’s Senior Special Assistant (Media & Publicity), Samuel Aruwan said: “The attention of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has been drawn to the blatant misrepresentation of his position on state police in a false report published in The Nation newspaper.
“On Friday, 21 June 2019, The Nation reported that Nigeria’s Governors have reached agreement on state police. In its usual style of attributing its lies to anonymous sources, The Nation alleged that Mallam Nasir El-Rufai expressed opposition to state police during the meeting.
“This falsehood is incongruous to the publicly articulated position of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai on state police. How can a man who chaired a committee that recommended the adoption of state police in 2017 credibly be alleged to be against it?
“Even the sheer logic of his own lived experience as governor of a state confronting security challenges suggests a pragmatic embrace of state and community policing.
“ In an under-policed country crying out for more police officers, new technology and modern paradigms of securing communities, adopting state police is imperative.”
El-Rufai said the NGF was looking into the report of the APC Committee on True Federalism.
The statement added: “Since the submission of the report of the APC Committee on True Federalism, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has been engaged in advocacy for its recommendations.
“At its last meeting, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) accepted a proposal to set up a bi-partisan committee of Governors to pursue the implementation of the recommendations of the APC True Federalism committee. But that NGF committee is yet to be set up.”
The governor condemned some reports of THE NATION on him since during the tenure of ex-President Umaru Yar’Adua.
The statement added: “The Nation’s comedic reportage of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai’s lecture to the Bridge Club is still fresh in the memory. The Nation went overboard in its obsequious worship of personality rather than principle.
“The paper went further to report fiction on the election of the new chair of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum. This is a continuation of the paper’s long history of traducing Mallam Nasir El-Rufai.
“ In the Yar’Adua years, The Nation was the major mouthpiece for every lie that some persons wanted to disseminate about El-Rufai.
“The paper may not take itself seriously as a newspaper any longer, given its wanton propensity to trivialize matters when it is not reporting fiction.
“ But Mallam Nasir El-Rufai reserves his legal options to seek redress for this deliberate and practised pattern of dressing fables as reportage.”