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Monday, 1 June 2015

Group accuses Jonathan of deliberately refusing to reform the Police

Wants southern governors to fight the increasing wave of armed kidnappings and violent crimes.

A group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has chided President Goodluck Jonathan for refusing to tackle what it described as the perennial non-performance of the Nigerian Police Force, NPF, since he assumed power.

The group said the Jonathan administration has failed to implement the best of all previously documented recommendations on how to comprehensively reform the ‘moribund and non-professional force,’ carried out by several Presidential committees on Police Reforms.
It also criticized the National Assembly for failing to use the opportunity of the yet to be completed constitutional amendment to introduce the creation of state police as one way of shoring up and empowering the police to effectively tackle the violent crimes across Nigeria, especially the incidences of armed kidnappings.

In a statement jointly signed by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Director, Zainab Yusuf, on Monday, HURIWA warned that history and posterity would be harsh on the administration “if it failed to positively transform the fundamentals of the NPF to ensure that all the bad eggs were weeded out and for efficient and effective highly educated and crime free young upwardly Nigerian youth to be recruited to form its core members and hierarchy.”

The group recalled that in the last two and half years of the Jonathan administration, it had failed to positively reform the NPF and had continued with the lip service being paid to the issue of ensuring that only merit, professionalism and competence were the yardsticks for deciding who headed Force.

HURIWA accused the administration of “playing politics with the texture, colour and nature of the hierarchy of the Nigerian Police Force which has further led to serious credibility deficit and total lack of crime fighting capacity of the current Nigerian Police Force.”

Bothered about the increasing cases of armed kidnapping in Nigeria, especially in the southern parts, HURIWA asked Mr. Jonathan to make concerted efforts and arrest the trend in the coming year.

By making crime fighting across the country a major focus of his administration, HURIWA said Mr. Jonathan would be saving Nigerians from the spate of violent killings and also the South East from de-industrialization.

The group said, “On behalf of the members of the human rights community and all men of goodwill, we appeal once more for the umpteenth time to the President of Nigeria to reform the moribund Nigerian Police Force, NPF, and weed out all bad eggs that have captured the hierarchy and membership of the armed police force to make sure that crime is confronted frontally. Nigeria needs a professional police that abhors extra-legal killings of suspects and indulges in bribery and corruption.

“We are worried that violent kidnappings are becoming serious threats to the corporate and territorial integrity of Nigeria. The Nigerian Government must fortify the security of the international borders to ensure that sophisticated arms importers are curtailed and stopped in their tracks before they infiltrate Nigeria with small arms and weapons of mass destruction.

“The current Nigerian Police as its currently constituted cannot guarantee a crime free Nigeria because most operatives of the Nigerian Police Force are criminals whose criminal past are neglected and they are allowed to remain in the Nigerian Police Force to perpetuate crimes and criminality.”

The group also advised the governors of the southern states to desist from playing excessive politics, but instead concentrate on good governance modules by actively and jointly working together to implement effective and fool-proof panaceas to the increasing wave of armed kidnappings and violent crimes in their respective states.

“The Southern Governors must unite together under one forum and work out implementable measures to wipe out the cases of violent kidnappings so as to allow willing industrialists to invest in the predominantly marginalized and underdeveloped South Eastern Nigeria. Kidnappings must be treated the same way as the insurgents and terrorists in the North East waging war against the Nigerian state,” HURIWA said.

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