*As stakeholders bear minds on proposed Police Commission Bill
By Christiana Ekpa
The Speaker of the House of Representatives Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila has assured that the 9th House would ensure a policing system that works for all citizens in view of the recent EndSARS protests.
Gbajabiamila said to achieve the above, the House would carry out a wholesale reform of the Nigeria Police from recruitment to training and welfare of officers and men of the police.
Addressing stakeholders at the 9th House Legislative Agenda Public Policy Dialogue Series with the theme ‘Policing and Human Rights in Nigeria,’ the Speaker called on all well-meaning Nigerians to make their inputs toward the enactment of the Police Service Commission (Reform) Bill, 2020
“Our reform objectives include wholesale reviews of police recruitment and training procedures and practices. It also includes an obligation to drastically and rapidly improve the welfare and wellbeing of police officers from recruitment through to retirement.
“As we expect more from the men and women who carry arms and take risks to protect us, we must also be ready to do right by them, and by their families. They too are our citizens; they are our brothers and sisters deserving of the best that our nation can offer.
“I want to assure all of you in this room, all of you who are watching today from wherever you are, the 9th House of Representatives will do everything we can to deliver for the Nigerian people a policing system that works for every citizen.
“We will talk, we will engage, we will change laws, and we will amend the Constitution subject to the consensus of the Nigerian people. We will do everything that we have the power to do so that when the account of this moment is given, we will be counted for making the right choices and doing justice by our people,” he said.
He said the issue of Police Reform has since the inauguration of the 9th House been one of the fundamental commitments of the Green Chamber.
“This is because we recognise that the policing function is at the very heart of any fully functioning state. It is through the institution, mechanisms and resources of policing that the state can protect the welfare and wellbeing of its citizens.
“Without the ability to offer this protection, the state loses legitimacy and the authority that flows from there. A society that cannot effectively police itself ceases to exist, and a government that fails to protect its citizens has lost the right to continue in office. We must avoid these unfortunate outcomes.
“This is why we must commend the present administration which inherited a flawed policing system and is now taking giant steps to reform the system through the recently enacted Police Reform Act, 2020 and several other measures. But the work is far from done, and we must continue in these efforts.”