Beyond SARS, SWAT, We Need State Policing – Ekweremmadu

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Former Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate Ike Ekweremmadu he stated that Nigeria needs state policing to tackle the excesses of the Nigerian police.

He said this on Wednesday while addressing the ongoing protest shaking the country by the Nigerian youths to end police brutality in the country.

He wrote, “BEYOND SARS, SWAT, WE NEED STATE POLICE NOW

The ongoing protests over the excesses of elements in the Nigerian police 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 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.”

Ekweremmadu advised that state police will be a reassuring way of addressing the indiscipline, inadequate and poorly-motivated manpower that’s notable in the force.

“Sadly, the Bill hasn’t received the requisite political support in the 8th and 9th Nigerian Senate. Once again, I call on President Muhammadu Buhari 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 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 decentralise 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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