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Replacing SARS With SWAT Is Only Treating The Symptoms – Ekweremadu Tells Buhari, IGP What To Do



Former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has opined that state police is the lasting solution to the problems in the Nigerian police force.

This, Ekweremadu said while advising President Muhammadu Buhari, to institute the state police, without further delay.

He expressed his disappointment that despite that he sponsored a bill to amend the constitution to create state police in the 8th Senate, as well as the current Senate, it had still not received the required political support.

When asked for his opinion on the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and proposed setting up of the Special Weapons and Tactical Team, Ekweremadu said the Federal Government was still addressing the symptoms rather than the real illness.

He said, “The ongoing street protests over the excesses of elements in the Nigeria Police did not come to me as a surprise.

“As a matter of fact, I had always known, and warn severally that a day would come when Nigerians would no longer tolerate the worsening insecurity in the land and the excesses of those charged with protecting lives and property.

Ekweremadu said the problem with our policing and the attendant insecurity and excesses are engraved in Section 214 (1) of the 1999 constitution.

“It reads, ‘There shall be a police force for Nigeria, which shall be known as the Nigeria Police Force, and subject to the provisions of this section, no other police force shall be established for the Federation or any part thereof’.

“It is also worsened by Section 215 (2), which goes further to declare that ‘The Nigeria Police Force shall be under the command of the Inspector-General of Police and contingents of the Nigeria Police Force stationed in a state shall, subject to the authority of the Inspector-General of Police, be under the command of the Commissioner of Police of that state.

Ekweremadu noted the above informed his decision to move the Bill for the State Police Creation, with adequate provisions in the mode of financing, control, and appointments of the high commands of such state police services.

He said if passed into law, the bill would insulate them from any forms of abuse and give citizens roles in the various State Police Service Commissions.

Unfortunately, this has not received the requisite political support, I call on the President and political stakeholders, once more, to seize the opportunity of the widespread demands for police reforms by Nigerians to do the right thing, addressing the structural challenges.”

According to Ekweremadu, Nigeria is the only federal state with a unitary police, adding that it never works anywhere.

Therefore, whether we call it SARS or SWAT, we will only be addressing the symptoms instead of the diseases until we decentralise policing to allow citizens and the states take charge of the security of lives and properties of its people.


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