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Jonathan demands reform of Nigeria’s police system



Former President Goodluck Jonathan has called for an overhaul of the country’s policing system.

Jonathan, who spoke at a one-day national dialogue on state policing held by the House of Representatives in Abuja on Monday, stressed that the debate on whether to have state police or not was over.

He added that the focus of Nigerians should now be on the operations of the police.

The former president also called for reforms in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the police to prevent the use of police for political gain.

He said: “The issue today is very critical. One thing is that we don’t need to debate on whether we should have state police or not. I think the matter has been concluded. The issue is the operations of the police.

“So if we are talking about State police we must also rejig INEC and the police must not be used against or to the advantage of any political party.

“The issue of voting, the polling booths of INEC and the use of police during elections has to be reviewed by the national assembly.

“Even in polling units in our country, this is the only country I visited that has isolated polling units. Most other counties I go to observe elections they have polling centres in a primary school or secondary school and within that polling centre they have five to ten polling units within the centre. I just flew back from Senegal.

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“You see the police are always at the gate. They don’t go into the compound. They don’t go even where votes are taking place. The citizens are also disciplined enough not to behave in a way that would attract the police. we must find a way to make the use of police for elections very limited. Not what we hear today that security operatives have seized materials.

He expressed concern over the widespread kidnapping in the country, saying the current policing system was inadequate to address the issue.

He reiterated that state police are essential to tackle the security challenges facing the country.

“So the National Assembly needs to look into all these. These are the areas that we have to concentrate. The issue of the need for states to have their own police is not negotiable. There is no way we can continue this kidnapping that is going on in this country, ” Jonathan added.

The former Nigerian leader’s call for reforms comes at a time when the country is grappling with rising insecurity and concerns over police brutality and partisanship.

The national dialogue on state policing is a step towards addressing these issues and finding solutions to the country’s security challenges.

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