By Musa Adamu and Ikechukwu Okaforadi
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said the leadership of the National Assembly will no longer tolerate the unnecessary killing of Nigerians by criminals threatening the security of the country.
This was even as he demanded for a complete restructuring of the Security architecture of the Nigeria Police Force, equipping of Police training institutions and training of men and officers of the Police Force.
Lawan made this known in his concluding remarks on a Bill for an Act to Repeal the Police Act and enact the Nigeria Police Bill, 2019 to provide for a framework for the Police Service.
Speaking on the security situation in the country, he said, “We are in a very unusual time. When Nigeria was at war at one stage, there was very rigorous recruitment of soldiers because the situation demanded that.
“I think we are in a similar situation and it is only fair for us as leaders of this country to take this challenge.
“This bill should consider the restructuring of the command and structure of the Police. The present structure is not working, the Police Trust Fund is already accruing, the last count I was told there was about N52 billion or so, but it is not about throwing money to the Police. You need to adjust the structure, otherwise that money will just be a sinking fund.
“So, we should be in a hurry to recruit, to train and retrain. Equipping the police training institutions is supposed to be one vital aspect of getting our security arrangements right, and this is something that we have to do in a hurry, even if it means going for supplementary budget, so be it.
“The kind of situation we are in, with the lives that are lost on a daily basis is something we cannot tolerate, and in fact, we should be on the right side of history.”
Earlier, Sponsor of the Bill, Senator Haliru Jika, in his lead debate said the piece of legislation seeks primarily to provide for the framework for the Police Service and ensure cooperation and partnership between the Police and Communities in maintaining peace and combating crime and insecurity in Nigeria.
The lawmaker added that when passed, the Bill would among other things address the recurrent challenges and deficiencies in structure, appointments, promotions, discipline, postings, trainings, kitting, weaponry, living condition, pension and retirement benefits.
He said: “The general welfare of our dear gallant officers, within the Nigeria Police Force, have persisted, largely because of the draconian and outdated statutes that guides policing in Nigeria.
“The present Police Act is not only fraught with deficiencies, but strangely, the major organization, duties, and powers of the Nigeria Police Force, as encapsulated in the present Act, have largely remained as set out in the 1943 Police Act.