By Steve Oni,Ilorin
The Director General for National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, Prof Suleiman Olanrewaju Abubakar said Nigeria Police Force needs total reformation rather than cosmetic change of name of a particular unit in the organisation.
Fielding questions from journalists on the occasion of his 55 years birthday in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, Prof Abubakar, said that the activities of Nigeria Police force goes beyond mere cosmetic change of name, adding that there must be frantic reformation and reorientation of the Nigerian Police force.
The birthday ceremony was attended by dignitaries from all walks of life including Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of the Kwara State.
He added that the protest against SARS across the country portends that “as long as we practice democracy, we must allow people’s will to prevail”.
Prof Abubakar, who was a former Minister of National Planning, noted that Nigeria has gone beyond the military mentality where people that handle weapons believe that they are at liberty to make use of the weapons the way they feel.
He said: “It suggests that our Police Force needs reorientation. This is a Police Force that had their root back to the Military era, they have their root back to colonial era but with uninterrupted democratic dispensation of 21 years shows that as progressive people, our law enforcement agencies need to be inculcated with the spirit of democracy in their operations.Police Force should be civil, law enforcement agencies should be civil.
“The army could be uncivil but the Police should be civil. It calls for reorientation, reformation of the Police force. It goes beyond mere cosmetic change of name, there must be frantic reformation and reorientation of the Nigerian Police force.”
Speaking on the problem of insecurity in Nigeria, he emphasised the need for Nigerians to support security agencies with useful information that would assist them in arresting perpetrators of crimes in the country.
His words: Government has done its own, government is doing its own, security is everybody’s business. My clamour and advice to Nigerians is that we should not see security or insecurity as government business alone. Boko Haram reside somewhere, militants reside somewhere and kidnappers reside somewhere. People know them.
“The various Talibans we have in Nigeria, let me use that word, reside somewhere, we must be able to expose them. As long as we are not ready to support the security agencies in exposing all these criminals, insecurity will thrive in this country. And I keep on saying it that these security agencies are not God and they only see what they could see within their own limited knowledge unless they use intelligence.
“Then, the various traditional rulers must be involved, religious leaders, Mallams, Pastors must also come in. Our clergymen should support what government is doing, we must see security our business. Holistically, we must all address it. As a matter of fact, we must assist government in addressing insecurity in this country.”
Prof Abubakar stressed the need serious electoral reforms in the country, adding that “we must have two or three vibrant political parties that can represent the various opinions of people of this country. We cannot survive with 60, 70 or 80 political parties. It does not make sense at all. If we must practice democracy the way it should be, we don’t need all those “shoprite” political parties.
“So, we need serious electoral reform. National Assembly are looking into it, and I want to believe that with kind of National Assembly we have now as we had in the 8th National Assembly, we should see something possible in terms of result that will come out from the National Assembly as far as electoral reform is concern”.
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