By Chinelo Obogo
Senate spokesman, Surajudeen Basiru, representing Osun Central Constituency has said that only sweeping reforms can benefit the Nigerian Police to serve the nation better.
The Senator who had earlier made the observation while presenting a bill before the Senate on establishment of States’ Police said there has been a deep seated and strong resistance to the idea of police reforms in the country.
Basiru said unless reforms generated by several high levels committees spanning over 20 years are revisited and implemented, the Nigeria Police shall remain largely ineffective. He said the indication to deep resistance is that “the more than 20 years of debate on policing and reforms have largely gone un- implemented.
He said as a result the public perception of the Police had remained poor while it continued to be plagued with corruption, impunity, lack of accountability, gross incompetence and failure to maintain law and order.
The Senator who noted that the recent enactment of the Police Act 2020 might not meet the citizens expectation of an effective police institution that works said that only a wide range of reforms will be required to make the Police work in the interest of all.
Some other reforms suggested by Basiru are institutional reforms which will improve the conditions of service in the Police as well as holistic review of the conditions of service of Police Officers as a means to discourage corruption.
While suggesting that strong anti corruption measures be put in place, he said transparent reward and punishment mechanisms should be entrenched and put in place.
“There is a need for a wholesale review and redefinition of the role, function and organisational structure of the Police” to demilitarise it and inject in it operation neutrality as well as autonomous organisational set up, functionality specialisation, institutional accountability and service orientation. There is a need for a strong system of public finance management that ensures that funds budgeted and released are transparently utilised for the purposes they are meant for,” he said.