Posted by News Express | 4 June 2020 | 332 times
The Human Right Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has lampooned the recently unveiled reorganisation of the Nigerian Police Force as approved by President Muhammadu Buhari as too little, too late and therefore inadequate to address the enormous the challenges of the Force.
Recently, additional operational zones were carved out from the existing administrative zones of the Police Force and some top flight police officers re-assigned to head these newly upgraded policing centres.
But according to HURIWA, the exercise “is only but a mere scratch on the hard surface of a giant operational and personnel incapacitation of a policing institution that has outlived her usefulness and requires a much more fundamental restructuring and reforms to bring it in tune with the twenty first century compliant global best practices.”
The rights group described the reported re-organisation “as cosmetic and deceptive” saying that there is clearly an absence of the required political will and the will power on the part of the Federal Government including the National Assembly to design and implement the best kind of emphatic, comprehensive and strong constitutional reforms of the Nigerian Police beginning with the passage of relevant amendments to decentralise its command and control structures for greater efficiency and enhanced effectiveness in law enforcement at all tiers of government in Nigeria.
HURIWA lamented that the President reportedly jettisoned the amendments made by the last session of the Nigerian Police Force in which state Police was created adding that it is unlikely that much reforms can be spearheaded by a lacklustre leadership in the current session of the National Assembly that has evidently convinced Nigerians that it is a stooge of President Buhari and may not be ready to take the bull by the horn.
HURIWA lamented that the leadership of the current National Assembly has even discontinued the implementation of the constitutional amendment that makes any constitutional alteration that has been completed to become law without the requirement of a Presidential assent.
In a statement on Wednesday by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA stated that the way the Police is structured at the moment with a centralised command and control that is directly under the purview of only the President, “the ability, capacity and competency of the policing institution will continue to have setbacks and would be sabotaged by internal factors such as lack of merit and professionalism in the enlistment and appointments of heads of the Nigerian Police Force at the different levels beginning from the national to the state structure which still has its umbilical cord tied to the President.
HURIWA reminded the federal government that for over half a century that the Police has operated under strict nationally centralized command and control structures, the sophistication, spread and daredevilry of divergent armed groups of robbers, kidnappers, terrorists, mass murderers and armed herdsmen has been on the increase.
This, the rights group said, has left in its wake attendant violent and blood cuddling attacks with high tolls in terms of casualties and the extensive destruction of communities all across the country which are progressively on the increase, which has shown that the current policing formula captured by the 1999 constitution as amended has failed and is in need of fundamental restructuring which a piecemeal approach like the re-organization that has just been done cannot possibly achieve.
“The Federal Government under President Buhari is embarking on mere ‘patch patch’ work or little by little damage control of the extensive collapse the Nigerian Police Force has faced and which has manifested in a monumental dimension with the sacking and destruction of several communities and killings by unidentified gunmen and in some cases by suspected armed Fulani herdsmen without the Nigerian Police taking steps to even prevent these calamities and killings from taking place in the first instance and when they do happen, the Police are unable to investigate arrests and prosecute these offenders.
“As it is now, there are hundreds of persons with blood in their hands who have escaped the full wrath of the law because of the operational collapse and incompetence of the Nigerian Police Force. Appointing a Deputy Inspector General of Police to take charge of zones is not the way out.
“The way out is to decentralize the command and control platforms of the Nigerian Police Force by creating state and local policing institutions to compliment the National policing infrastructure. The state and local police should be autonomous on operational mechanisms and must be staffed by the most competent professionals and these newly legislated policing platforms should be well equipped and supervised efficiently to discharge their mandate of protecting lives and property of citizens in their areas of jurisdiction.”
HURIWA recalled that the Federal Government has just approved what the government calls reorganization of the Nigeria Police with the creation of an additional department, five Zonal Commands and granting of full autonomy to the Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB).
The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), DCP Frank Mba disclosed this in a statement said the Federal Government also approved the decentralization of the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Department (FCIID).
HURIWA recalled that the Police spokesman explained that by this re-organization, the FIB, which was previously a section under the FCIID, is now a full-fledged department of the Force to be headed by a Deputy Inspector General just as he said that with the new arrangement, the force now had eight departments and each headed by a DIG.
HURIWA however dismissed this so-called re-organisation as an attempt to keep doing the same thing the same way and expect a different outcomes while appealing to the government to go all out in carrying out far reaching legal reforms that will usher in a rebranded, efficient and effective security architecture that will see the command and control of the Nigerian Police Force decentralised in the real sense of it.
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