Posted by News Express | 26 July 2017 | 1,425 times
A civil rights organisation, Save Lagos Group (SLG), has condemned moves being made by state governors to establish policing structures and systems in their respective domains and local governments under their control saying that the move is ill-motivated, selfish, wicked and unconstitutional.
In a statement issued by the Convener, Comrade Adeniyi A. Sulaiman, SLG urged the National Assembly not to be part of the scheme, which he stated was aimed at further subjugating the people of the country.
Sulaiman condemned the meeting between the police top hierarchy and state governors under the auspices of the Governors’ Forum, saying all men of goodwill must stand up to stop this ‘shenanigan’ being carried out by the state chief executives all in the name of an illegal entity, which is unknown to any law of the land.
On the dangers inherent in the call for the establishment of the state and local government policing structures in the country, Sulaiman on behalf of the group said the current political office holders both at the two tiers of government lacked the maturity to be given that kind of privilege.
SLG said: “We are opposed to the idea and the move by these governors who are being urged on by the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo. Our opposition is based on the current realities in the various states across the country where the governors have constituted themselves into despotic emperor.
“The little policing structure that they have been using in their respective states have turned to punitive tools with which they have been using against the hapless and powerless people of their states who are daily subjected harrowing brutality of operatives of these quasi-police forces.”
The group gave the example of Lagos where men of the Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) and the newly established Neighbourhood Safety Corps have been brutalising the people of the state over sundry little offences such as cross the expressway.
“We are daily witnesses to the atrocities being carried out by KAI and men of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) on the people of Lagos everyday. Our worry is that when these corps are invested with powers to carry guns, only God knows the fate that awaits the people of the state in their hands as we all know that their activities are subjected to the control of politicians in Lagos State who might use them as victimization tools against their opponents,” SLG said.
Sulaiman also buttressed his call with outcomes of elections being conducted by the various State Independent Electoral Commissions where the party in power usually wins 100 per cent of all the seats in a very incredible fashion.
“Just picture when the state governors now control the security apparatus, what fate will befall the opposition parties, when the police which is supposed to be unbiased and provide security of lives and property to all and sundry during an election now become partisan? This will not in any way advance the cause of democracy.”
While stating that the group is not in any way opposed to the idea, Save Lagos Group maintained that the state governors lacked the maturity to handle the possibility of managing such and that that the plan be shelved for now until a later date when the country would have matured in its democratic experiment.
On the way forward, the Save Lagos Group canvassed the need to properly equip the current structure in such a way to make them functionally impactful to the average Nigerian on the street, who yearn to be well and better protected.
“Apart from giving them the requisite equipment to function, we also called on the Federal Government to make sure that the Nigerian Police Force has adequate manpower to better police the country and this can be achieved by mass recruitment of personnel. They must also ensure that the welfare of personnel is given adequate priority as a way of motivating operatives to perform,” the group said.
“We are calling on the National Assembly not to be part of this shenanigan, which is at variance to the needs and desire of the Nigerian people but which is being carried out to preserve the selfish interest of the governors. We call on them to throw out the bill into the trash can when it is presented to members as doing otherwise will make them court trouble from the Nigerian people.
“We are on the alert on this issue and we urge the National Assembly to side with the people on this subject matter. Should the National Assembly gives out any suggestion that it would do otherwise, we are already mobilising our members to picket the Assembly complex as a way of putting our message across,” the statement added.
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