…calls for urgent reform, restructuring
By Gabriel Ewepu
AS insecurity continue to be a daunting challenge in the country, a non-profit making organization, One Love Foundation, OLF, Wednesday, challenged the Federal Government to save the alleged collapsing police system.
The call was made by the Global President, OLF, Chief Patrick Eholor, while speaking with Vanguard on protracted issues affecting the Nigerian Police Force over the years, and added that the time to place the force on its optimal performance in accordance with its constitutional role is now.
According to Eholor, the brutality of the force on citizens is occasioned by issues left unaddressed by government at the detriment of Nigerians.
He said: “Internal security maintenance and enforcement of law and order are the primary responsibilities of the police in any part of the world.
“This age-long duties have helped to establish peace by molding the character of the society towards sustainable and enduring developmental growth and value chain.
“In the developed world, this success has been achieved as a result of careful planning and execution of the much needed progressive policies by the leadership that puts the interest of the public above all other considerations.
“A policy of decentralizing the powers and functions of the police departments has brought desired results. There are countries where they have the municipal, state and federal police departments with jurisdictions and functions.
“They have a working synergy in discharging their duties and interdependency. They do intelligence sharing when needed and appropriate it for better results and performance.”
Meanwhile, he (Eholor) called on the Federal Government to urgently carry out reform and restructuring of the Nigerian Police Force for effective and optimal performance.
“It exemplifies what policing should be and very enviable. This practical methodology of policing in the advanced world is well funded by the taxpayers and they are getting their money worth. The police personnel are well trained and paid.
“They are very passionate about their job. They don’t get corrupt and always hold allegiance to their oath of service. The police department maintains a high level professionalism and community oriented approach and friendliness. Contrary to our expectations, it is a different narrative here in Nigeria.
“This concept of one central police unit is not working and calls for re-engineering. This advocacy is long overdue for serious thoughts. The underperformance of the Nigerian Police Force is crystal clear.
“Personnel are poorly trained and paid, their performance are nothing to write home about-it was planned to fail at inception. Nigerian citizens are not happy and have brought distrust in the police and community relations”, he said.
The social crusader also described police brutality as worrisome and dangerous situation, and warned that if it persists it may cause Nigerians to descend into incessant attacks on the police personnel.
“Police brutality and abuse of power is a worrying situation. These are cumulative reasons for the Endsars protests nationwide by the Nigeria youths. Restructuring is needful to correct the wrongs”, he pointed.
He also recalled that Endsars protesters called for police reforms for better performance and community friendly policing.
“The much needed reforms are imperative. Better training of personnel and improved wages among others need to be effected. The decentralization of the police force calls for urgent attention
“The need for municipal and state police to add to the status quo cannot be over emphasized. It’s highly recommendable. This model has huge benefits as witnessed in advanced countries. The Endsars protests should not be allowed to repeat.
“Nigerian youths are advocates and champions for a vibrant police devoid of corruption and abuse as demonstrated during the Endsars protests. The posture and body language that nothing has been learnt is suicidal. Let the needful be done to change this ugly experience that has hurt us too long. We deserve better. The leadership should not undermine the voice of good reasoning by activists and stakeholders on the very need for Nigeria Police reform.
“The planning was very inarticulate and on the wrong foundation. The corruption level has made the personnel a laughing stock and subject of mockery. There is no difference between street beggars and police personnel considering their actions at roadblocks or checkpoints.
“This has brought shame and embarrassment to the entire system. The Nigeria police is too big for one person to be the overall head”, he stated.