A pro-transparency Non-Governmental body-HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has asked the new acting Inspector General of police Mr. Suleiman Abba to perish the thought of introducing police check points through a subterfuge which he has renamed tactical operation points.
The group has rather urged the hierarchies of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), Nigerian Customs Service (NCS); Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and the Nigerian Army to jointly set up formidably equipped anti-weapons’ smuggling offices in the various entry points into Nigeria from Chad, Niger and Cameroon.
Conversely, HURIWA has rejected the idea of police recruitment exercise as contemplated by the newly inaugurated acting Inspector General of police even as the group said the police boss should embark on comprehensive In-house cleaning exercise to weed out the many bad eggs in the rank and file, build a functional data bank of all police operatives on the nominal role to determine the criminal record or otherwise of all serving police operatives. HURIWA said if the real police operatives in the verifiable nominal/staff role are properly and lawfully deployed for purely law enforcement duties and not political assignments such as carrying hand bags for wives of political office holders then Nigeria will be efficiently policed in terms of manpower.
HURIWA said the Nigerian police are not lacking quantity but quality man power and therefore the focus should be on building an effective, efficient and professionally competent policing institution at the federal level. The group also asked the National Assembly to reconsider its conservative and reactionary opposition to the creation of State police through the ongoing process of constitutional amendments since state police is the panacea to the unprecedented violence in Nigeria.
In a statement to the media and jointly endorsed by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Ms. Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said any attempt to reintroduce through the back door the ‘criminally minded’ and ‘bribe seeking’ police check points should be vigorously opposed by Nigerians who bear the severe brunt of gross human rights violations, harassment, extortion and extra judicial killings by trigger hoppy rogue police operatives who are usually deployed to such checkpoints.
HURIWA said: “We view the announcement of the creation of the so-called tactical operation points in the frontline states of counter insurgency as a subterfuge to stage a gradual come back of the notorious police check points which were outlawed by the immediate past police chief. We urge the acting Inspector General to go back to the drawing board and design better strategy such as the setting up of joint military/police/Para-military anti-weapons’ smuggling units to be stationed in the border points to Chad, Niger and Cameroon. The police in the different State commands can as well map out dynamic strategy to mop up illegal arms and small weapons that litter the terror frontline states. Setting up check points is certainly not a good solution. The new police chief should build up good enough quality intelligence for the Nigeria Police and not dissipate energy on his new game plan of reintroducing‘rebaptized’ police checkpoints”.