Reporter : ALFRED AJAYI
A Public Affairs Analyst, Chief Chidozie Ezeugwa, has described the on-going ENDSARS Protest across the country and in parts of the world, as a wake-up call for authorities in the country.
To this end, he has called on the Federal Government to take urgent steps towards addressing all the grievances of the protesters, who are calling for an end to Special Anti Robbery Squad and holistic reforms of the Police.
“It is a wake-up call for the Government of Nigeria to carry out a comprehensive reform of not only the police but other institutions, including the Judiciary.
“The older generation must have realized now that the attitude of the modern generation is not the same. The sooner they realize this, the better for the country
“This is a global movement, which indicates rejection of the rot in the system of policing in this country,” Chief Ezeugwa stated.
Chief Ezeugwa expressed regret that the bad eggs in the force had assumed powers that the extant laws did not confer on them, which was one of the reasons for the brutality Nigerian youths had been protesting against.
He stressed the need to raise the minimum qualification for recruitment into the Police to ensure that they understood the rights of the citizens and respected such in the discharge of their duties.
“Policemen going about with POS, forcing citizens to transfer money into their accounts, confiscating the laptops belonging to young Nigerians with unsubstantiated allegation of being yahoo boys are all illegal and unconstitutional.
“But, I think the problem starts from employing personnel with primary school leaving certificates into the force, who don’t understand the nitty-gritty of their calling.
“I recommend minimum qualification of first degree, either HND or B.Sc. The Police must be tutored in such a way that they understand the fundamental human rights of Nigerians and what the constitution says. History of those being recruited must be known. They cannot be ex bandits, armed robbers,” the public affairs analyst advised.
Chief Ezeugwa appealed to the Federal Government to ensure the prompt prosecution of those alleged to have violated the rights of Nigerians, including those accused of extra-judicial killings.
“The Federal Government and the Police authorities must act fast to prevent this from snowballing into a bigger national challenge. We need holistic reforms in the police, not window dressing. The protesters know what they want. Nigerians want to see the prosecution of those who have violated the rights of Nigerians and taken the lives of innocent citizens. Even in the course of this protest, some of the protesters were shot again.
“The Presidency, the Governors and all the stakeholders in Nigeria security project must work together and devise strategies to respond to the yearnings of the protesters. Disbanding SARS is good but holistic reforms in the police force are not negotiable,” he insisted.
The public affairs analyst believed that the on-going protest had again presented another opportunity to fine tune the process of activating the state policing strategy to address soaring acts of criminality across the country.