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Reorganization Of Police Is Too Little, Too Late-: Says Huriwa

By Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA)
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"The recently unveiled so-called major REORGANIZATION of the Nigerian Police Force as approved by the President in which case additional zones were carved out from the existing zones and some top flight police officers Re-assigned to head these newly upgraded policing centres 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 the Police in tune with the twenty first century compliant global best practices".

With the above summation, the Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has described the reported reorganisation of the Nigerian Police Force as cosmetic and deceptive just as the Rights group said 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 the command and control structures of the Police 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 just as the Rights group said it is unlikely that much reforms can be spearheaded by a lacklustre leadership in the current session of the National Assembly tjat has evidently convinced Nigerians that it is a stooge of President Muhammadu Buhari and may not be ready to take the bull by the horn. HURIWA lamented that the current National Assembly's leadership 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.

HURIWA thereby through a media Statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf restated her often stated position that the way the Police is structured at the moment with a centralised command and control THAT is directly under the purview of only Mr. 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 umblical cord tied to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

HURIWA noted Specifically that Section 215 (2) of the Nigerian constitution provides thus:"The Nigeria Police Force shall be under the command of the Inspector-General of Police and contingents of the Nigeria Police Force stationed in a state shall, subject to the authority of the Inspector-General of Police, be under the command of the Commissioner of Police of that state.”

HURIWA reminded the Federal government that for over half a century that the Country has operated under strict nationally centralised command and control structures of the Nigerian Police Force, the sophistication, spread and daredevilry of divergent armed groups of robbers, kidnappers, TERRORISTS, mass murderers and armed herdsmen with the attendant violent and blood cuddling attacks with high tolls in terms of casualties and the extensive restructions of communities all across the Country which are progressively on the increase has shown that the current Policing formula captured by the 1999 constitution as anended has failed and is in need of fundamental restructuring which a piecemeal approach like the reorganisation that has just been done can not possibly achieve.

"Federal Government under President Muhammadu 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 unudentified 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 Deputy Inspector General of Police to take charge of zones is not the way out. The way out is to decentralised 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 of Police (DIG) just as he said that with the new arrangement, the force now had eight departments and each headed by a DIG just as he named the departments as follows: Finance and Administration, Operations, Logistics and Supply, Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), Training and Development, Research and Planning, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Force Intelligence Department.

HURIWA however dismissed this so-called reorganisation as an attempt to keep doing the same thing the same way and expect a different outcomes. "The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) is 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. Only an insane person will continue to do things the same way and expect any revolutionary change or result. The only guarantee to a secured nation is for the current Policing institution to be unbundled and restructured in a fundamental way. "