Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has charged the federal government of Nigeria to stop playing politics with the issue of police reform in the country.
According to the Governor who spoke on Friday during a live television programme in Port Harcourt the State capital, issues surrounding the laws and operations of the Police Force in the country need to be critically examined by all stakeholders.
Wike noted that it is important for all stakeholders to look at the various laws establishing the Police to determine the roles of Councils, States and the Federal Government.
He maintained that to be able to tackle the current security challenges in the country, an amendment of the Laws establishing the Nigeria Police Force needs to be done.
“We are in a Federal System. Issues cannot be addressed by the Federal Government giving directives to State Governors.
“There is need for all stakeholders to look at the various laws establishing the Police to determine the roles of Councils, States, and the Federal Government.
“We are at a point in our history that collective involvement is important. This is so because the nature of crime fighting today does not support a central command and control.
“We need to embrace the reality. Once the areas requiring amendment have been agreed, the National Assembly can now be involved,” he said.
The Governor also knocked the Federal Government as he claimed it is playing politics with and trivializing the demands by #EndSARS protesters after it instructed State Governors to take charge of Tactical Commands of the Police.
“State Governors cannot take charge of Tactical Commands because they cannot employ or discipline anyone who errs.
“In Rivers State, we set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry that indicted SARS officers. Instead of the Police authorities punishing the indicted officers, they shielded them and even promoted one to the rank of an Assistant Inspector General.
“Now the Federal Government wants us to set up another Commission of Inquiry when the report of the last one we set up was not implemented,” Wike submitted.
He also joined his voice to that of those already calling for a total reform of the Police Force, narrating the experiences his administration has had with the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
“From the beginning, we in Rivers state suffered in the hands of SARS operatives as they killed innocent people and made the State ungovernable.
“They even killed a polytechnic lecturer. We cried but they reduced it to politics. The Media tagged us Rivers of Blood when we had security issues.
“If we are sincere in this country, what affects one part of the country will be taken seriously by others. Unfortunately, we politicise everything.
“Let us practice true federalism. You cannot support community policing and say State Police will be controlled by Governors,” he said.
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