The House of Representatives says it will provide legislative measures that will provide a conducive environment for the Nigerian Police to effectively carry out its constitutional responsibility.
The Speaker, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, stated this at a one day stakeholders’ public hearing on repositioning the Police Force, organized by the House Committee on Police Affairs.
Mr. Gbajabiamila, who described the recent allegation over police brutality on civilians as unfortunate observed that proving the enabling environment will increase police professionalism.
“More than any other institution of the State, it is the police force that relates to the citizens daily. In many communities across Nigeria, the Police Force is the only representative of the Nigerian state, and the connection between our citizens and the state is often defined by their interactions with Nigeria Police.
It is unfortunate and entirely unacceptable that the relationship between the police and many of these communities are now defined by fear, mutual antagonism and an absolute loss of faith in the ability of the police to protect and to serve.” The Speaker added.
Mr. Gbajabiamila also said that although the public hearing with the theme ‘Repositioning the Nigeria Police for an Enhanced Delivery’ might come with some uncomfortable truths, the Nigeria Police should take home the contributions of stakeholders as they would be the ultimate beneficiaries.
He said: “We cannot build people, particularly the police, in a situation where they can barely get themselves together. If I ask the police what’s the situation with the insurance of the police personnel, I know very well the likely answer I’ll get, because it will be in the negative.
If you ask what the payor welfare package of a policeman, I know the answers we’re going to get, they’re not going to be encouraging.”
The Speaker noted that when the agencies that should protect the lives and property of the people “become predatory, they lose the faith of the public and become incapable of delivering on this responsibility.
“When the public is as afraid of the police as they are of the criminals, and perhaps even more so, the very fundamentals of our nationhood are at stake. We are confronted with an urgent need, deserving of our utmost attention and dedication.” He argued.
The Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Bello Kumo explained that reforming Nigeria Police will restore public confidence and make the institution once more deserving of the true faith and support of the Nigerian people.
“We must fix the Nigerian Police, restore public confidence and make the institution once more deserving of the true faith and support of the Nigerian people. This will make the quest for a Safer and Secure Nigeria a reality.” Kumo explained.
Also speaking, Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum said lack of synergy between security agencies is undermining the war on terrorism in the North East.
Represented by the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice Borno State, Kaka Shehu Lawan stressed the need for the Government to equip the police and other sister agencies with modern security equipment and gadgets to effectively maintain internal security.
The public hearing was to examine the ways to improve the capacity of the Nigerian Police to deliver on its obligations to Nigerians.