By Nnamdi Ojiego
Following the demand by protesting Nigerian youths for an end to police brutality, the member representing Nnewi North constituency in Anambra State House of Assembly, Smart Okafor, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to begin a total and thorough reform of the Nigeria Police Force.
Rising under Matter of Urgent Public Importance, Okafor noted that the Police, which is the principal law enforcement agency charged with the responsibility of securing lives and properties, maintaining law and order, was in dire need of total overhauling to enhance efficiency, professionalism and effectiveness of the force.
He said: “The agitation of Nigerians, especially the youths, is not against police carrying out their constitutional responsibility.
“They are against the way and manner some of the officers kill, torture, brutalise, intimidate and other human rights violations against Nigerians, which have reduced the credibility of the force.
“Therefore, for the Police to be repositioned into to a modern and professional security agency, it does not begin and end in the change of nomenclature from Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to Special Weapon and Tactics (SWAT).
“There is need for sweeping reforms that will seriously review the process of recruitment, training and re-training and the welfare and remuneration of police officers.”
Okafor added that the reforms would include “Method of operation of different units of the Police and other important issues that the Presidential Panel on Police Reforms or the Police Reform Bill which is currently under consideration in the National Assembly, may address.”
While lending his voice to the #EndPoliceBrutality cause, the youthful lawmaker believed that if the deep-rooted problems in the force were addressed, the Police would be better positioned to serve Nigerians.