Police Reform to Ensure Accountability to Citizens, Good Welfare for Officers – Reps

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Speaker, House of Representatives, addressing stakeholders at the 9th House Legislative Agenda Public Policy Dialogue Series with the theme 'Policing/Human Rights in Nigeria, Wednesday, Nov 18, 2020.
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Speaker, House of Representatives, Nigeria, Femi Gbajabiamila has called on all well-meaning Nigerians to make inputs toward the enactment of the Police Service Commission (Reform) Bill.

Addressing stakeholders at the 9th House Legislative Agenda Public Policy Dialogue Series with the theme ‘Policing/Human Rights in Nigeria,’ Gbajabiamila affirmed that the House’s reform objectives include wholesale reviews of police recruitment and training procedures and practices.

The Speaker noted that the reform includes an obligation to drastically and rapidly improve the welfare and wellbeing of police officers from recruitment through to retirement.

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“As we expect more from the men and women who carry arms and take risks to protect us, we must also be ready to do right by them, and by their families. They too are our citizens; they are our brothers and sisters deserving of the best that our nation can offer.

“I want to assure all of you in this room, all of you who are watching today from wherever you are, the 9th House of Representatives will do everything we can to deliver for the Nigerian people a policing system that works for every citizen.

“We will talk, we will engage, we will change laws, and we will amend the Constitution subject to the consensus of the Nigerian people.

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We will do everything that we have the power to do so that when the account of this moment is given, we will be counted for making the right choices and doing justice by our people,” he said.

He said the issue of Police Reform has since the inauguration of the 9th House been one of the fundamental commitments of the Green Chamber.

“This is because we recognise that the policing function is at the very heart of any fully functioning state. It is through the institution, mechanisms and resources of policing that the state can protect the welfare and wellbeing of its citizens.

“Without the ability to offer this protection, the state loses legitimacy and the authority that flows from there. A society that cannot effectively police itself ceases to exist, and a government that fails to protect its citizens has lost the right to continue in office.”

“This is why we must commend the present administration which inherited a flawed policing system and is now taking giant steps to reform the system through the recently enacted Police Reform Act, 2020 and several other measures. But the work is far from done, & we must continue”

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“We will have succeeded in building modern and effective Police when service in the Nigeria Police Force consistently attracts the best and brightest in our country without objection.”

In a remark, the Chairman of the House Committee on Implementation and Monitoring of the Legislative Agenda, Rep. Henry Nwawuba also stated that the 9th House has committed itself to seeking collective and holistic ways to find lasting solutions to our national needs.

Noting that his committee was set up to ensure that the House meets its agenda and live up to its best aspirations and objectives, Nwawuba said the dialogue was an innovative step in the Bill process to get stakeholders’ buy-in even before the presentation of the Bill.