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Coalition of Youth Assembly tracks 5For5 Demands at a Model Parliamentary Plenary Session – A must Read

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Coalition of Youth Assembly tracks 5For5 Demands at a Model Parliamentary Plenary Session – A must Read by Daudupress(1): Sat 31, October, 2020

By Emmanuel Daudu/Abuja-Nigeria

Nigerian Youth People’s Assembly yesterday 30 October, 2020 held a Youth Declaration On Police Reform in a special plenary session on the 2021 Appropriation Bill themed: The Abuja Declaration, October 30th, 2020, and the state of the nation at the Bayelsa House in Abuja.

The Nigerian Youth People’s Assembly plenary session which kicked-off at about 10:45 AM was attended by youths all across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria in a resolution to make special inputs, suggestions on the 2021 Appropriation Bill as it concerns them.

The Senate President of the Nigeria Youths People’s Assembly, Sen. Amb. Sunday Chibuzo Okereke in his opening remarks stated that himself and his distinguished colleagues
are legitimate, and responsible citizens of the country who has contributed significantly to nation building and positive social reengineering of the Nigerian state over the years.

Affirming that the assembly has the country Nigeria at heart and earnestly desires to continue to take positive actions to reclaim Nigeria’s lost glories as change agents and transformational Youth Leaders.

He went further by condemning in strong terms the shooting of innocent Nigerians at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, Nigeria on Tuesday October 20th, 2020 as he calls on the relevant authorities to expedite actions on the thorough investigation of the incident while urging state actors to exercise restraint on any action that might jeopardize the ongoing investigations, and birth miscarriage of justice.
“We maintain that we have constitutional rights to peaceful protests and must continue to creatively lend our voices in pursuit of key policy reforms that propel our nation to the much needed security, economic growth, good governance and sustainable prosperity.

We welcome and commend the actions of Mr. President Mohammadu Buhari GCFR and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu on the disbandment of the Special Anti- Robbery Squad (SARS).

We however, frown at the hurried decision of the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu to form the Special Weapons and Tactical Squad (SWAT) without due and wide consultations as pledged to the Nigerian people. As a movement, we are deeply concerned that the premature self-styled urgency of this action will cause the web of impunity in the police system and formations to continue to flourish unabated.

We note that by the mandate of the enabling Act of the Nigerian Police (as amended), every single member of the Nigerian police is supposed to have basic training in crime prevention, protection, and crime detection. By the Police Establishment Act, “the police shall be employed for the prevention and detection of crime, the apprehension of offenders, the preservation of law and order, the protection of life and property and the due enforcement of all laws and regulations with which they are directly charged, and shall perform such military duties within or outside Nigeria as may be required”. This simply means that every police officer should be capable of fighting armed robbery, if this is case as supposed, why the hurry in creating the SWAT unit to fight crimes especially where other special units and Police formations such as the CTU, RRS, STS, K-9, EOD, MPS, etc are still in place and operational.

We welcome and commend the on ongoing psychological examination of the disbanded SARS officers. But however, call on the police authorities to brief Nigerians from time to time on the preliminary reports from the exercise. We also call on the family members and friends of these officers to embrace the exercise in good faith as a means to bring out the best character of their loved ones. We urge them to support the reform agents and government efforts with purity of heart.

While we commend the Federal Government on its decision to set up Judicial Panel of Inquiry to address the issues of police brutality and compensation for victim in line with the #EndSARS and #ReformTheNgPolice 5For5 demands. We remain very concerned that the timeframe and the security of lives of victims who may be targeted by the culprits.

We commend the Governments of the 27 States and FCT who have so far constituted and inaugurated Judicial Panel of Inquiries. The States are; Abia, Enugu, Anambra, Sokoto, Kastina , Niger, Kaduna, Adamawa, Nasarawa, Kwara, Ekiti, Osun, Ogun, Lagos, Kogi, Ebonyi, Cross River, Delta, Imo, Rivers, Edo, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Taraba, Plateau, Benue and Ondo States. We condemn the actions of the remaining 9 States who are delaying the constitution of the judicial panel inquiry in their various states. We therefore, demand that the Governors of these states immediately constitute and inaugurate the JPIs or face being inaugurated into the Nigerian Youth People’s Assembly HALL OF FAME.

The Nigerian youth welcome the decision of the President to increase the salaries and wages of police officers, but however call Mr. President and Federal Government to match their words with action within 60 days in order to reduce huge trust deficient that are prevalent in our governance system”, he added.

During the joint plenary session, Madam president, Her Excellency Amina …. delivered the state of the nation address and the 2021 budget speech to the esteem distinguished members of the assembly after which delibrations commenced.

Sen. Dr. Laz Ude Eze leading debate on the 2021 budget proposal for the health sector called for an entire overhaul of nigeria’s system pointing out that a lot of work needs to be done if the country is determined to attain it’s enviable height.

Also speaking at the session was Sen. Prince Chibuike Echem and Hon. Otarigho Emokiniovo Ovonicely leading debates on the general principles and sectoral allocations of the budget on the ministry of Police Affairs and that of the Youths and Sports.

Sen. Prince Chibuike factually elucidated reasons why youths need to have its ministry different from sports.

Interjecting at the plenary session was the declaration. The body sent S. O. S on police welfare, called on immediate compensation of cash, employments and scholarships to families of young people and uniform men and women who lost their lives through the #EndSARS and through police brutality.

“Mr. President Mohammadu Buhari and the Federal Government should immediately commence payment of compensations of cash, employment and scholarships to families of all those who lost their lives during the protests; families of verified individuals who were extra judicially killed by the police already captured in previous panel reports; including families of police officers who died in the line of duty but were regrettably abandoned by the government. We salute the courage of some State Governments and Governors who has already started awarding scholarships to children of some slain officers. The same opportunity should immediately be extended to the families of the young people who lost their lives in the cause of this struggle.

We demand and encourage the commencement for immediate up scaling of the personnel of the Nigerian Police with the recruitment of at least one million fresh police officers within the next six months. We strongly believe this will position the Nigerian Police better to deal with issues of internal security and general policing.

We insist that recruitment process into the Nigerian Police should immediately be reformed to include detailed background checks of applicants for at least three to six months before final admittance into the police, conduct of psychological tests for mental health including regular multipurpose personality index tests for servicing officers and new recruits. Recruitment should also include minimum educational qualification of National Diploma. We therefore call on the National Assembly to amend relevant laws to give legal framework to these important reform demands.

We note with deep pains, the sufferings and penury conditions of both the serving and retired rank and file members of the Nigerian Police. We therefore call on Mr. President and the Inspector General of Police to look into the management and administration of the Nigerian Police pension scheme. The unfortunate situations where retired police officers have alleged that their personal contributory pension funds and gratuity are not being paid fully must be urgently investigated and culprits brought to book. This will help to ignite the positive hopes of serving officers, boost their confidence and self-motivation.

We insist that the fiat style system of appointing the IG of Police that often leads to compulsory retirement of scores of ranking Police Officers must be re-examined by appointing authorities so as to ensure that long service years, experiences and manpower of the Men and Women of the Nigerian Police are not wasted through such system of appointment. We recommend succession to the Office of the Police IG to be by seniority. Me must dethrone political considerations and enthrone merit, character, competence and professionalism in the appointment of the Police IG.

Over the years, the issues promotion in the Nigerian Police has been shrouded in strange practices that are completely alien to the Nigerian Police Establishment Acts and service rules. We therefore demand immediate regularization of all pending promotion issues within the Nigerian Police.

We further recommend that the Federal Government consider and put systems in place for a phased disbandment of the Police Barracks system being operated in Nigeria. In doing this, the government should also introduce mortgage and low cost housing scheme for the Police, implement a proper state police system and decentralize the Nigerian Police to improve efficiency, discipline and unity of command.

As young people, we are by this declaration sending a RED SOS to the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria to save the lives of new police recruits at the Nigerian Police Academies whose feeding budget per day is N150 and who are living in conditions that can only produce anger, hatred, bitterness that will turn the characters of the officers into brutal elements in the society. We put on record that Nigeria will never have a police force that is devoid of brutal characters when we do nothing about the hell situation of the police training colleges. In address this shameful menace, the government must tackle the issue of privatization and commercialization of police kits, training and re-training and also invest heavily in research and development in order to build police system we all can be proud of.

We plead with young Nigerians to embrace the conversations on the #PathToPeace and stop all forms of hostilities and wanton destruction of public facilities. No matter how much some political leaders may have labored to rob the Nigerian youth of a prosperous future, we must not give in to the temptation of destroying the very things that will propel us into the future, rather we must continue to constructively engage the system and defeat the enemies of our nationhood with our togetherness, superior argument and unity of purpose.

For us in the Nigerian Youth People’s Assembly, we are convinced that our solemn mandate is to rescue our country, our generation and preserve the future and unity of Nigeria. So Help Us God”, the youth Senate President, Convener: Amb. Sunday Chibuzo Okereke said.

The Rt. Hon. Speaker Comr. Akinloye NG in a vote of thanks on behalf of the People’s Assembly called on the executive aim of government to do more in the area of budget implementation, stressing that one of the major challenge in the country is the inability to implement budget to it’s brim

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