The Hon. Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi, has assured Nigerians that the reform of the Police Force have commenced in earnest. He made this statement during a courtesy call by the Deputy high commissioner, Gill Atkinson of the British high commission in his office today, 19th October, 2020.
Dingyadi said the federal government have absorbed all the demands of the protesters and is seeking for their involvement and cooperation to ensure the process of the reform of the police is perfected. He said, that state governors have been directed to immediately establish a state-based Special Security and Human Rights Committee to be chaired by the governors in their states, to supervise the newly formed police tactical units and all other security agencies located in the state.
The idea of the Special Security and Human Rights Committee in all states of the federation and the FCT is to ensure that police formations and other security agencies in the state consistently protect the human rights of citizens.
Members of the Special Committee would also include representatives of youths and civil society. The head of police tactical units in each of the states would also be a member of the committee. Each state government is to set up a Judicial Panel of Inquiry; the panel is to be chaired by a retired High Court Judge, with other members selected by the state governor as follows:
*Two representatives of Civil Society groups
*One Retired Police Officer of high repute
*One Youth Representative
*One Student Representative
*One Representative of the State Attorney-General and a representative from the National Human Rights Commission.
He said already, seven states have complied with the directive of the federal government and more are willing. He said further that training has commenced today on the new Special weapon and tactics Team (SWAT) which he will personally supervise.
He expressed gratitude at the concern of the British Government towards a peaceful democratic government in Nigeria, assuring them that government have been very cautious and lenient with the protesters, even though some protesters have taken laws into their hands. He said Mr. President is democratic and has a listening ear and is committed to peaceful protest and will always encourage such.
He said, a five-year strategic plan for the reform of the police is underway and all machineries have been put in place for the functioning of the Police Trust Fund despite some court cases that is threatening to slow the process.
Speaking earlier, the Deputy British High Commissioner, Gill Atkinson and the Programme Coordinator, Security Justice reform, Napoleon Enayaba have expressed concern about the current development in the country. She said, the British government has always and is willing to continually support the federal government, particularly in the area of policing. She suggested the need for clear and different form of training to the new SWAT TEAM was important and cautioned on the use of force against the protesters and seeks the support of the ministry towards programmes and activities of the British government towards policing in Nigeria.
AD/ Head Press & Public Relations (MPA)
19th October, 2020