State Police is Key to National Security—HURIWA

A pro-democracy and civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has affirmed that the numerous security nightmares confronting Nigerians in the 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory can only be confronted headlong if the constitutional amendments creating State police are signed into law.

The Rights group therefore faulted the claim by the Secretary to the Federal government, Mr. Boss Mustapha and the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Adamu, that community and not state police is desirable for Nigeria.

This is just as the group categorically asserted that, “from his body language and his widely reported affirmations, it does appear that President Muhammadu Buhari is comfortable with the status quo in the policing institution of Nigeria which has abysmally performed below average and indeed the Nigeria Police Force operatives are exhibiting the characteristics of persons hanging on, precariously hoping against hope that a failed institution like the Nigeria Police Force will magically become efficient and effective crime fighting force”.

HURIWA said the hierarchy of the Nigeria Police Force as it is, are enjoying the systemic rot that weighs down the policing institution which explains why even when the Federal policing structure is dysfunctional they would rather hang on and enjoy the privileges rather than allow for fundamental reforms with far-reaching implications to be adopted so the lives and properties of Nigerians can be safeguarded in compliance with the extant constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which categorizes security of lives and wellbeing of the citizenry as the primary duty of government.

The Rights group which stated these in a statement by the Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the leadership of the police and other top-notch political appointees who are opposed to state police, are doing so out of selfishness, since they are basically the only class of citizens that enjoy the all-round protection of the Nigeria Police Force funded with taxpayer’s money.  

HURIWA said it is regrettable that President Muhammadu Buhari has blown away his last chance to make a lasting impression and leave a legacy of creating an effective policing force, by capitulating to the egotistical manipulations of the clique that wish that Nigeria remains backward and in grave danger of violence by armed criminals of diverse characterization. 

“Ultimately, these persons in the Federal government who are opposed to the creation of state police are the parasites that gulp billions of cash allocated to the Nigeria Police Force which ends up in private pockets, leaving the police force in derelict and collapsing situations. 

“State police will ensure effective crime combat and will see to the humanization of the policing institution in such a fashion that the operatives will work under conducive atmosphere and will get the buy-in of the people of the different states of the federation”, Onwubiko said.

The Rights group wondered why the President is kicking against creation of state police even when the 8th session of the National Assembly did extensive reviews and legislated the bringing into being of state police for which the President refused to sign until the last session of the legislative body elapsed. 

HURIWA dismissed the fears and apprehension by the President against state police as misplaced and misjudged going by the fact that even under the extant national policing structure the various states of the federation are essentially bearing the financial burden of providing crime fighting facilities and vehicles for the Nigeria Police Force, even when the police are part of the federation’s budgeting process.

HURIWA recalled that the Inspector General of Police Alhaji Mohammed Adamu had maintained that community, not State Police, is suitable for Nigeria, just as the group stated that the IG made this submission in Abuja when he spoke to reporters during the submission of the report of the committee set up by the federal government on strengthening of internal security framework and community policing in Nigeria.

HURIWA recalled that the report was submitted by a committee headed by the Permanent Secretary, Special Services Office, Mrs. Amina M.B. Shamaki, to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha.

HURIWA, however, expressed sadness that the current administration does not really want to take revolutionary steps to resolve the grave national security failures that have characterized Nigeria’s current epoch, just as the Rights group said it is only someone who does not believe in innovative ideas as a way of fighting the monstrous security challenges that Nigeria faces can still live in the past by resisting the change which the creation of state police represents, given that for over 50 years the unitary policing mechanism has collapsed.

“We thought the mantra of the current administration is all about transformational change so society migrates away from the status quo that is devoid of innovative ideas to the one that will embrace the best global practices that come with the 21st century, whereby decentralization of tasks and the various comparative advantages of the diverse components of the HUMAN society are harnessed for efficiency, effectiveness and results. The Nigeria Police Force needs to be unbundled for maximum crime fighting impacts.

“Nigeria needs to emulate societies such as United Kingdom, Germany and the United States of America, whereby State and municipal policing architecture has worked wonders in checking the trends of organized crimes. Community policing under the extant constitutional provisions that recognizes a highly centralized governance structures for the police in Nigeria is deceitful. 

“Nigeria needs State police and only those who derive economic and political benefits from the crises of national security that we currently have, will be opposed to state police. Only an insane man will believe that he can achieve a different result by doing a task the same way all the time”, he ended.

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