President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Wednesday, urged the Police Service Commission (PSC), to work to ensure a return to “professionalism and commitment” by men of the Nigeria Police Force, in view of the disturbing security crisis in some parts of the country.
Saraki, who made the call when the Chairman of the PSC, Dr. Mike Okiro, led other members of the Commission on a visit to the Red Chamber, said the Senate would fast-track the consideration and passage of the Nigeria Police Academy Wudil, Kano (establishment) Bill.
He said that the Senate is worried about the level of insecurity in the country and the inability of the police to rise to the occasion.
He stated that this is why the Senate has decided to organize a security summit that would bring all critical security stakeholders together to find holistic solutions to the menace.
“Today we spent most of our time discussing security issues which came up in different parts of the country, like Zamfara, Kano, etc., and the recent killings in Benue State,” Saraki said.
“As you are aware, we have a summit coming up next week, where we hope to discuss a lot of these issues.
“We are greatly worried about the breakdown of law and order in some parts of the country – clashes here and there – and the incapacity of the security apparatus of the country to be able to protect lives and property.”
He stated further that “At the end of the day, we need to ask ourselves what we need to do? In my view, it is not the time to apportion blame, I think it is a time for us to find solution and I think those solutions that we need to find must be holistic in approach.
“We also have to be bold enough to speak and say what is wrong and I think the Police Service Commission has a key role to play here because by the law establishing you, you have a key role to play to guide the country in being able to ensure professionalism and commitment in the Nigeria Police, stamp out corruption and motivate the officers.”
He said that the Nigeria Police needs repositioning “because at the moment, at every single opportunity, we are calling on the military which has its own dangers because they are already stretched across the country playing roles other organizations particularly the Nigeria Police should be playing.”
He urged the Commission to work to ensure that the confidence of Nigerians in the Police Force, “which is at its lowest ebb at the moment is improved upon.”
He said: “A situation where there are killings in a particular part of the country and after so many weeks, Nigerians do not see that people have been held accountable is not good.
“Maybe there have been, but at the end of the day, perception is key. People must have confidence that something has been done. If something has not been done, it is not good. There is no society that can work under those circumstances and I think that your Commission has a key role to play in this.
“We will support you with whatever is required to do that, whether it is funding or even special allocation, but I think at the end of the day we must all agree that something needs to be done to address the security situation in the country vis-a-vis the role of the police in providing security,” he said.
Earlier, the Chairman of the PSC, Okiro, said the visit was meant to draw the attention of the Senate to the Nigeria Police Academy (establishment) Bill which has been pending in the National Assembly since 2012.
“This visit has become necessary to seek the speedy consideration and passage of the bill because the Cadets of the school would be graduating in October this year, and when they graduate in October this year, and there is no law backing the institution, it means that their certificates would not be marketable in the labour market anywhere,” Okiro said.