A former deputy president of the Nigerian Senate, Ike Ekweremadu has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to seize the widespread protests for police reforms to do the right thing by addressing the structural challenges in the force.
A fresh protest against police brutality that started in Lagos last week Thursday has spread to many other states of the federation and in different countries of the world.
The protesters with hashtags #EndSARS, #SARMustEnd and #EndSWAT, do not seem to be ready to drop their demand for a total reform of the Nigerian Police.
Reacting in a statement on Wednesday he entitled
‘Beyond SARS, SWAT, we need state police now,’ which he posted on his Twitter handle, @iamekweremadu, the former deputy Senate president said:
“The ongoing protests over the excesses of elements in @PoliceNG didn’t come to me as a surprise. I’d always known, and warned severally that a day like this would and Nigerians would no longer tolerate the worsening insecurity and the excesses of those that should protect lives and property.
“The problem with our policing and the attendant insecurity and excesses can be located in Sections 214 (1) and 215 (2) of1999 Constitution, which provides for a unitary police and an IGP to oversea Nigeria.
“This informed my Bill for the Creation of State Police with adequate provisions in the mode of financing, control, and appointment of the high commands of such state police services to insulate them from abuse and give citizens roles in each State Police Service Commissions.
“Sadly, the Bill hasn’t received the requisite political support in the 8th and 9th @NGRSenate. Once again, I call on @MBuhari and stakeholders to seize the opportunity of the widespread demands for police reforms to do the right thing, addressing the structural challenges.
“Nigeria is the only federal state with a unitary police. It has never worked anywhere. It is not working here and it will never work.
“So, whether we call it SARS or SWAT, we will only be addressing the symptoms, not the diseases until we decetralise policing to allow states take charge of security of lives and properties of their people. It’s a more reassuring way of addressing the mounting challenges of abuse, indiscipline, inadequate and poorly-motivated manpower, and lack of logistics, equipment bedevilling policing in Nigeria.”
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