A Niger Delta Peace Ambassador, Comrade (Chief) Sheriff Mulade, has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to reform the Nigeria Police following the aftermath of the #EndSARS protest such as insecurity and lack of proper policing.
Comrade Mulade, the National Coordinator of Center for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, recommended that police salary be increased to at least N250, 000 monthly since the police perform Governments’ primary responsibility of protecting the lives and property of Nigerians and other nationals living in the country.
Reacting to questions from newsmen in Abuja at the weekend, on why it had been difficult for the Nigeria Police to return to duty after the EndSARS protest, despite the IGP’s directive, Ambassador Sheriff Mulade said he was not surprised, adding that it would be difficult for anyone to order them back to work in view of the prevailing circumstances.
While expressing his displeasure over the current situation of the Nigeria Police, Comrade Mulade said the police are not happy to go back to work because a high ranking officer’s salary is very insignificant when compared to what some government personals spent in a seating on bottle of bear, plate of pepper soup and suya for recreation and relaxation, noting that the salaries of some police officers are not up to thirty thousand Naira a month, and urged the Federal Government to increase the salary of Police without further delay.
On the current public image of the Nigeria Police after the EndSARS protest, the Niger Delta Peace Ambassador said the Police might not be willing to go back to work now because of psychological effect of the hatred and anger against them by the very people they protect.
He stressed the need for Police Authorities to adequately provide working tools such as stationeries, uniforms and firearms for official uses, in order to stop the practice of tasking complainants and arrested suspects to pay for services rendered. He said Police officers need to be reassured of the safety of their lives since their guns were stolen, and their stations burnt down by hoodlums during the EndSars protest.
Comrade Mulade said the Police force needs total reforms due to high level of corruption in the system. He alleged that the Police force has the highest level of administrative corruption because of the monthly financial remittance targets set by the Police hierarchy for the officers on the road on a daily basis. According to him, the financial remittance chain has made effective policing impossible, alleging that the IGP would only post or recommend a police officer to become a CP especially in the Niger Delta Region, classified as the lucrative and financially viable area of the country, if that Officer was ready to remit a monthly target to the IGP, while the CP in turn would request a monthly target to all the DPO’s, who in turn would task all officers and men under his Division to go to the roads to find that money at all costs, not minding the feelings and rights of the citizens, as long as the monthly target is met.
Speaking of some police officers’ decision to resign from the Force, Chief Mulade said over 90% of them would resign for just one million Naira, and use the amount to set up a good business to cater for their families. He noted that until all these gray areas were addressed, nobody has the moral justification to direct the police back to work.
The Niger Deltan born Peace Ambassador also spoke on how to curb hoodlums and criminal activities in the local environment until the Police resume work, and advised traditional rulers, community leaders, local government Chairmen, private security outfits and individuals to set up independent community policing groups to guard and protect lives and property, pending when the shock and trauma of the police are cleared and the officers are ready to go back to work with an assurance by the Federal Government that their lives and property are safe.
Comrade Mulade urged Federal government to provide an intelligent spy camera and digital monitoring cameras for each police officer with strict monitoring and supervision in addition to proper orientation and training, so that officers would monitor one another so as to checkmate corruption within their operations.
He recommended that effective disciplinary actions should be taken against any willful defaulter of policies and instruction, while the Federal government should institutionalize State Police for effective policing and place the least police officer on N250, 000 naira monthly salary because they are protecting the lives and property of the country and its citizens, adding that if this was done, Nigeria would be a better place to live.