Yemisi Izuora/Ijeoma Agudosi
The Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) has stressed the need to urgently reform Nigeria’s security agencies particularly, the Police to enable them operate efficiently in a democratic setting.
The group said it has become expedient for the new administration to expedite action on the passage of the Police Bill which has been pending at the National Assembly since 2004.
Addressing the media in Lagos, national co-ordinator of the organisation Okechukwu Nwanguma, said there is urgent need to review the Police Act of 1943 that facilitate attempts by previous administrations to reform the police.
Presenting the groups short and long term reform agenda for the in-coming administration, Nwanguma recommended that police training curriculum should be reviewed to entrench professionalism, effectiveness and integrity as political interference has hindered effectiveness of the force.
He identified lack of leadership and commitment in the system adding that under the present system partisan police leadership is a huge threat to Nigeria’s nascent democracy.
“There is the urgent need for the newly elected president upon being sworn-in as presdident to immediately, and in the short term overhaul the entire secuirty architecture of Nigeria to insulate our military, the police and the SSS from partisan political control and enhance professionalism, integrity and efficiency.
All service chiefs, the Director of SSS the Inspector General of Police and all heads of similarly compromised security services as well as all senior officers who have been politically exposed should be retired compulsorily to restore integrity and professionalism in our security services” he advised.
In the long run he proposed that Buhari should support Constitutional amendment to insulate the police from political control.
“Section 215 (3) of the Constitution and sections 9 (4,5) and 10 (1,2) of the police Act should be amended to remove operational control of the police from the president and return it to the IGP who is the professional.
He said further, that the president should support a reform to stipulate leadership qualification and entrench a competitive and transparent appointment procedure in the Nigerian Police Force to enhance competence, integrity and effectiveness, ensure operational autonomy and insulate the police leadership from political control.