We demand the Nigerian Police that is attractive to the best brains in the country and police officers that are core professionals maintaining public order and safety, enforcing the law – Ene Obi, CD Action Aid Nigeria
Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, Ene Obi has said Police reform should not only be in rhetoric but in actions evident to Nigerians.
She made this known at a Press Conference yesterday in Abuja while declaring the stance of the organization with ongoing protest and agitation by the Nigerian youth calling an end to police brutality in the country by demanding total reform and restructuring of police force.
Ene said the Police Reform should start with the upgrading of Police Training Colleges and recruitment processes.
“We want a Nigeria police that is well-informed on human rights and social justice and treat human beings with dignity.
“We demand the Nigerian Police that is attractive to the best brains in the country and police officers that are core professionals maintaining public order and safety, enforcing the law, and preventing, detecting, and investigating criminal activities with emotional intelligence devoid of brutality or extortion of citizens.”
She added that Federal Government and Governments at all levels need to pay attention to the welfare of the citizens.
“There is systemic failure and it needs transformation. Every political leader needs to become completely responsible and accountable.”
“A situation where members of the National Assembly that are one of the highest paid in the world still scamming for contracts (unbelievable) exist and are being protected by one of the poorest paid Police Force in the world; and we are the poorest country in the world as Nigeria has now been declared the poverty capital of the world recently, despite the vast natural and huge human resources.
“The young people are demanding their dignity and the dignity of every Nigerian to be restored” she remarked.
“ActionAid Nigeria applauds the tenacity of the Nigerian youths and the call for police reform across the country as a way of holding government to account. Corruption has continued to hamper meaningful development including the recruitment and training of police officers and we want to use this medium to remind all corrupt elements to desist and provide required leadership.” She stated.
Also speaking to our crew, at the press conference, Andrew Mamedu, Director, Resources Mobilization and Innovation for Action Aid Nigeria said to fully reform the Police Force in Nigeria there is need for sustainable Accountability Structure to be put in place in order curb corruption practices within the system.
“What is currently happening within the Police force today, it’s a reflection of systemic failure in Nigerian System. Because the system has failed to hold the duty bearers, lawmakers and executive to account.”
“If you are a government or public official you must be accountable to the public. And if you cannot be accountable to the people who had trusted enough to vote you into the office then you have no bussiness in Government”
“Anywhere in the world, the primary responsibility of any government is the protection of lives and properties and the welfare of the people.’
“Wholistically, it is not only about ending SARS, it is about ending the culture of unaccountability that is currently going on in the country starts from the Legislators, Executives and Judiciary which has trickled down to the Police Force.”
Andrew further stated based on the deductions, that there is need to reform the whole police force by setting up mechanism to review the structure in order address issues of corruption through accountability.
“Above all, Nigerian leaders must start by prioritising being accountable to the people and then every other reform will be sustainable”. he stated.
ActionAid Nigeria as a social justice organisation also urged relevant authorities to be swift in ending police brutality and nip the ongoing youth agitation in the bud before it degenerates to a state of anarchy.
“The current level of impunity cannot continue, we demand improved policing. Nigeria Police cannot be treating Nigerians like this. ‘Youth lives matter; Nigerian lives matter.’ said Ene obi.