Beyond SARS, SWAT, We Need State Police Now ~ Ekweremadu
Former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to see the decentralisation of policing and institution of state police as the lasting solution to the impunity and shortcomings he is currently trying to fix in the federal police.
Ekweremadu regretted that the Bill to amend the constitution to create state police, which he sponsored in the 8th Senate as well as the current Senate, had not received the required political support.
Reacting to the disbandment of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and proposed setting up of the Special Weapons and Tactical Team (SWAT), Ekweremadu, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Uche Anichukwu, on Wednesday, said the Federal Government was still addressing the symptoms rather than the real illness.
He said: “The ongoing street protests over the excesses of elements in the Nigeria Police did not come to me as a surprise. As a matter of fact, I had always known, and warn severally that a day would come when Nigerians would no longer tolerate the worsening insecurity in the land and the excesses of those charged with protecting lives and property.
“The problem with our policing and the attendant insecurity and excesses are engraved majorly located in Section 214 (1) of the 1999 constitution, which provides that ‘There shall be a police force for Nigeria, which shall be known as the Nigeria Police Force, and subject to the provisions of this section, no other police force shall be established for the Federation or any part thereof’.
“It is also worsened by Section 215 (2), which goes further to declare that ‘The Nigeria Police Force shall be under the command of the Inspector-General of Police and contingents of the Nigeria Police Force stationed in a state shall, subject to the authority of the Inspector-General of Police, be under the command of the Commissioner of Police of that state.
“This informed my Bill for the Creation of State Police with adequate provisions in the mode of financing, control, and appointments of the high commands of such state police services to insulate them from any forms of abuse and give citizens roles in the various State Police Service Commissions. Unfortunately, this has not received the requisite political support, I call on the President and political stakeholders, once more, to seize the opportunity of the widespread demands for police reforms by Nigerians to do the right thing, addressing the structural challenges”.
Continuing, he stated: “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.
“Therefore, whether we call it SARS or SWAT, we will only be addressing the symptoms instead of the diseases until we decetralise policing to allow citizens and the states take charge of the security of lives and properties of its people. This is the more reassuring way of addressing the mounting challenges of corruption, excesses, indiscipline, abuse, inadequate and poorly-motivated manpower as well as lack of equipment and security infrastructure currently bedevilling policing in Nigeria”.
The lawmaker added that one of the lessons from the ENDSARS protest was that Nigerians could always engender the changes they desired if they acted as one.
© Copyright 2020 ElombahNews.
DISCLAIMER : Opinion articles are solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers of ElombahNews!
Would you like to be receiving ALL ElombahNews links ‘On The Go’ on WhatsApp Or Telegram? If yes, join us here on WhatsApp or Telegram, or provide us your Telephone number via firstname.lastname@example.org or sms/inbox +2349050382526 and you are good to go!
DOWNLOAD ElombahNews mobile app here
Send eyewitness accounts/ reports/ articles to email@example.com; follow us on twitter @ElombahNews; like our Facebook page ElombahNews