Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, has reiterated commitment of the House to enact a law that would ensure effective policing system in the country.
Gbajabiamila said this at the legislative agenda public policy dialogue series with the theme “policing and human rights in Nigeria,” on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that police reform had been the burden of the 9th legislative agenda, adding that it was meant to take off early in the year but derailed by the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
Gbajabiamila said that without an effective policing system the state would lose its legitimacy and authority, stressing that such situation should be avoided.
“This is why we must commend the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari which inherited a floored policing system but now making effort to correct it,” he said.
He said that an effective policing system would be impossible when the citizenry do not trust the police, adding that communities would not also repose their confidence in a bad policing system.
The speaker, however, said that the House of Reps was not embarking on police reforms as a result of animosity but to help the police become better public servants by removing rogues among them.
According to him, we must begin to hold officers accountable for their actions and inaction; we must also ensure their welfare from recruitment to retirement.
“Let us see to it that we deliver a better policing system that is accountable and mindful of citizens rights, we must work together to build this nation
“We will look at other nations, how they are doing it to succeed and we will also adopt best practices to meet our need,” he said.
He said that the House of Reps was poised to leave a legacy of police reform.
Rep. Henry Nwawuba, the Chairman, House Committee on Implementation and Monitoring of the Legislative Agenda, said that the 9th assembly was committed to innovative solution on governance in Nigeria.
He said that the legislative agenda of the 9th House was primed on contract with Nigerians, adding that the committee was poised to ensure that the House lived up to its expectation.
He added that the House would enact a law that would reform the Nigerian police adding that the law would improve policing system that would work for all.
Rep. Bello Kumo, the chairman House Committee of Police Affairs, said that when the bill would eventually be laid before the committee it would provide a viable ground for cross fertilisation of ideas.
This, according to him, will be on how best to police the country and also provide the guild on effective policing system in the country.
He said that the current police Act does not provide sanction for any erring police officer, adding that such must be addressed in the new police Act.
Mr Muhammed Yahaya, the Representative of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), said there was a huge deficit in the country’s policing system.
According to him, most police officers I see are usually decent and hard working, but in Nigeria, we have police with wrong approach to policing the country.
He said that the restoration of peace between the Nigerian police and community was paramount, adding that the police should become more like a service provider.