The senator representing the southern senatorial district of Ondo, Nicholas Tofowomo, has called on the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.), to carry out meaningful police reform in Nigeria.
The senator said it was necessary for the president to stop extrajudicial killings of innocent Nigerians by security agents through proper reform.
The senator made the call in a statement issued by his media assistant, Olumide Akinrinlola, on Thursday, while reacting to the death of a pregnant lawyer, Bolanle Raheem, who was shot dead by a policeman, ASP Drambi Vandi, in the area. of Ajah from Lagos State on Christmas Day.
According to the federal legislator, Buhari should establish a committee for immediate police reform, saying that he (Buhari) still had enough time to do so before leaving office on May 29, 2023.
He said: “I thank God that the president has made a very strong statement on the murder of Bolanle Raheem, a lawyer, who was killed in Lagos by the police.
“President Buhari should know that I have been advocating for meaningful police reform since I took office as a member of the 9th Senate in 2019. His Excellency still has plenty of time to set up a police reform conference as a legacy he can leave behind.
“The Nigerian Police Force continues to operate an analogue structure, while other countries have switched to digital surveillance. Between 2019 and today, police have lost many lives due to unlawful killings in Nigeria that went unnoticed by the media.
“Ogunwa Ololade, one of my constituents, was killed in 2019 by SARS agents who were shooting sporadically while chasing some internet scammers. Similarly, as a student at the University of Ife, three of my friends were shot before my eyes by the police when we mobilized on July 7, 1981 to protest the murder of Bukola Arogundade, whose head was lopped off by unknown persons. We were going to the palace of the late Ooni of Ife, his Imperial Majesty, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, when the police suddenly attacked us on the road and killed three students.
“If it were the British police they would calm down the protesters and approach them politely with the promise to look into their matter, unlike our police who fired sporadically with tear gas and live bullets and killed three promising students. This is part of the shortcoming of the Nigerian Police that I am fighting for.
“Mr. President, it is not too late to achieve police reform. The incoming president would pick up where he left off, since government is a continuum. I appeal to the President to call a conference on police reform. Nigerians will meet and deliberate on the way forward during the conference and the report will be presented and your government can begin implementation without delay.”
While establishing the committee, Tofowomo asserted that foreign police should be involved, lamenting that “we don’t have effective police in Nigeria.
“Our police need training and retraining and I advise that such training be handled by foreign policemen. There is no shame in inviting an outside law enforcement agency with the necessary experience to help us.
“The problem of the Nigerian police goes beyond a mere reform in the issue of handling weapons. Our police lack infrastructure, training, required personnel, digital devices, basic equipment, necessary experience, weapons and, among other things, necessary for digital surveillance. The articulated action program necessary to reposition the police is now”, declared the senator.