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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajmiamila has assured that the House will work towards ensuring a police structure that works for all citizens.
He made this promise on Wednesday addressing stakeholders at the 9th House Legislative Agenda Public Policy Dialogue Series with the theme ‘Policing/Human Rights in Nigeria’.
This call for reformation of the police structure is in the wake of the recent EndSARS protest where thousands of Nigerian youths marched to demand an end to police brutality and end of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad Unit of the police over allegations of extrajudicial killings and human rights violations.
The Speaker said that the 9th House will ensure a wholesale reform of the Nigerian Police from recruitment to training and welfare of the police officers.
He said that this reformation is a must because the police is the heart of a functioning state because it is the Police who safeguard properties and it is the police who protect the welfare of citizens.
He then called on all stakeholders and well-meaning Nigerians to make their inputs towards the enactment of the Police Service Commission (Reform) Bill.
The Speaker said, “Our reform objectives include wholesale reviews of police recruitment and training procedures and practices. It also includes an obligation to drastically and rapidly improve the welfare and wellbeing of police officers from recruitment through to retirement.
“As we expect more from the men and women who carry arms and take risks to protect us, we must also be ready to do right by them, and by their families. They too are our citizens; they are our brothers and sisters deserving of the best that our nation can offer.
“I want to assure all of you in this room, all of you who are watching today from wherever you are, the 9th House of Representatives will do everything we can to deliver for the Nigerian people a policing system that works for every citizen.
“We will talk, we will engage, we will change laws, and we will amend the Constitution subject to the consensus of the Nigerian people.
“This is because we recognise that the policing function is at the very heart of any fully functioning state. It is through the institution, mechanisms and resources of policing that the state can protect the welfare and wellbeing of its citizens.
“Without the ability to offer this protection, the state loses legitimacy and the authority that flows from there. A society that cannot effectively police itself ceases to exist, and a government that fails to protect its citizens has lost the right to continue in office.”
“This is why we must commend the present administration which inherited a flawed policing system and is now taking giant steps to reform the system through the recently enacted Police Reform Act, 2020 and several other measures. But the work is far from done, & we must continue”
“We will have succeeded in building modern and effective Police when service in the Nigeria Police Force consistently attracts the best and brightest in our country without objection.”
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