249 views | Akanimo Sampson | October 19, 2020
Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, is pressing ahead with his new Special Weapons and Tactical Team (SWAT) in spite of ongoing agitation for comprehensive police reform in Nigeria.
Adamu scheduled the new SWAT to begin training this Monday, the raging EndSARS and EndSWAT protest notwithstanding.
Protesters demanding an end to police brutality, corruption and impunity, have scaled-up their agitation with a seven-point demand they want the Buhari administration as a matter of priority.
More than 13,000 protesters have signed a petition on a website, www.change.org, that advocates and empowers citizens from around the world to demand civic rights.
In their fresh demand, protesters are asking for institutional reforms, cost of governance, constitutional reforms, education reforms, health reforms, youth affairs and public office reforms.
Behold Their Demand:
That the 5-point demand to release arrested protesters, compensate families of victims, investigate and prosecute all reports of misconduct, proscribe SARS and review the welfare of police be implemented immediately.
However, we believe the systemic rot in the police is widespread across Government institutions. Therefore, we urgently demand immediate Institutional reform across all federal government institutions, agencies and parastatals, especially focused on national security.
The focus will be on improved welfare and terms of service for the police, military and all law enforcement agencies, provide body-worn cameras for operation, refurbished housing, health, academic and pre- and post-retirement life insurance policy for the rank-and-file personnel.
Also reforms on adherence to the laws guiding discipline and prosecution of erring servicemen this should be aimed at extinguishing all notions of impunity.
On Cost of Governance: We have watched over the years the waste associated with governing Nigeria. We have noted the duplication and unprofessionalism in the civil service and across all strata.
We demand an urgent budgetary framework with 50% capital expenditure and 50% recurrent expenditure in all appropriation bill.
We demand a drastic reduction in the cost of governance. We also demand that the national assembly, be first by streamlined into a unicameral legislative and be further stripped down to become a part-time job.
The huge salaries and benefits accorded them by the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) should be reduced to the barest minimum.
On Constitutional Reforms: There had been several constitutional reviews where youths were obviously absent. Whether by omission or commission or both, the time has come for an informed and progressive participation by the youths.
The Nigerian constitution as it exists presently does not serve all Nigerians. A more robust and engaged constitution designed and approved by all Nigerians will serve the nation.
We demand an urgent referendum within 90 days to begin the line-by-line review, reconstruction and upgrade of the extant constitution to be more functional for a 21st Century nation. The selection process for this referendum will have 50% young people under 60 nominated by their peers in a transparent, judicious and fair process.
We demand that credence be given to terms of citizenship over indigeneship and state of residence over state of origin.
Education Reforms: One in every five of the world’s out-of-school children is a Nigerian child. About 13.2 million Nigerian children aged 5-14 years are not in school. The impact of these numbers will be felt for generations.
We demand that a state of emergency is declared in the education sector and demand increase in the budgetary allocation to the educational sector by 50% and to double again within the next 24 months. This fund will be used to drive the education sector to provide affordable quality education to all citizens.
A certain percentage of this allocation should be devoted to granting scholarship to outstanding Nigerians without recourse to the tribe, religious or sex.
We demand a systemic overhaul in our curriculum and method of teaching to upgrade to a digital experience.
We demand that teachers should be incentivized to attract the best brains and should be standardized and professionalised.
We demand that the parent of any child not in primary school will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
We demand that there be an Annual independent external Audit of Fund allocation and project execution: from Government approval to disbursement across the ministry, which would further be used to publish at least an abridged Financial statement available digitally to ensure transparency.
Health Reforms: We demand that a state of emergency is declared in the health sector and demand increase in the budgetary allocation to the health sector by 50%.
We demand mandatory health insurance for the vulnerable population in our society as NHIS is not doing enough to serve all Nigerians. We demand that adequate provision be put in place to protect the rights and privileges of physically challenged citizens in Nigeria.
We demand urgent attention to mental health and a fund to set aside to create more professionals.
We demand proper implementation of the National Health Act of 2014, including the Basic Health Care Provision Fund).
Youth Affairs: We have noted the giant strides made by Gen Z and Millennials across the globe. Many multi-billion corporations where founded by both generations. In Nigeria, it is extremely difficult for such to occur. The enabling environment viz-a-viz investors and lenders confidence, stable interest rate and manageable inflation are deficit in our dear nation.
We demand that a state of emergency be declared in the ministry of Youths and Sports, Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of National Planning. We demand that this should be adequately funded, sports academy should be revamped.
We demand the creation of the Youth development funds dedicated to growing the creative industries and agriculture.
We demand that the Not-Too-Young to run bill should be expanded to include–50% inclusion of youth under-40 in every cabinet in government.
We demand that the youth inclusion be monitored by the FCC as they currently monitor state inclusion and the NCDMB and other stakeholders partake in this action to protect our future.
Public Office Reforms: We demand code of conduct reforms for all elected public office holders to have themselves and their children use public schools and public hospitals ONLY. Violation of which is immediate impeachment and recall.
We demand the immediate removal of immunity clause from public office holders to make them answerable to investigations at all times when and where necessary.
We demand the immediate resignation of every public officer found guilty of any forms of crimes and corruption step aside during investigation also.
Implementation of full digitisation of the judicial process, prison decongestion reforms, with reforms drawn from past projects like the Uwais Report, Keyamo’s ministerial screening address, strict time limits to the determination of industries litigations, etc.
However, Adamu made the SWAT training announcement in a statement by a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Frank Mba, the police spokesman on Sunday, claiming that the team will operate within very high professional and ethical standards, rule of law and dictates of best international policing practices.
In pursuant of the objectives, he said the NPF is partnering with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other Development Partners for the training of the team.
The training will hold at the Police Mobile Force (PMF) Training School, Ila Oragun, Osun State and the PMF Training School, Ende Hills, Nasarawa State.
Adamu reiterated that no personnel of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) will be a member the new Tactical Team, noting that the officers selected for the training are young, smart and energetic officers who have acquired not less than seven (7) years working experience with clean service records.
According to him, the SWAT recruits have no pending disciplinary matters, no record of violation of rights of citizens or misuse of firearms – and are physically fit to withstand the rigour of SWAT Training and Operations.
“The selected officers shall be subjected to physical fitness test, medical and toxicology screening etc and those found to be unsuitable shall be discharged”, the IGP said.
“The ICRC, an independent International human rights and humanitarian support organization with over 71years experience in humanitarian services and institutional support and development, will provide resource persons and materials to handle the human rights components of the training programme.
“Specifically, they will handle topics touching on humanitarian laws, police conduct in conflict situation, human rights standard especially in the use of force and firearms, arrest and detention amongst others.
“Other areas of the training program will include modern-day police ethics and values, Intelligence-led policing, Operation planning/Tactical decision making processes, Hostage rescue tactics and operation, weapon handling, first aid/basic life saving skills, stress/fear management, police-citizens relations and emotional intelligence etc.
“The training modules will be handled by other carefully selected development partners, security experts as well as veterans from the civil society and human rights community.
“The IGP charges the training coordinators to ensure a diligent and timely delivery of the Tactical Team.
“He observes that the necessity for the immediate establishment of a new Tactical Team is in view of the need to fill voids created by the dissolution of the defunct SARS particularly during the “EMBER Month” traditionally characterised with upsurge in armed robbery and other violent crimes in the country.
“The IGP therefore seeks the cooperation of the citizens in the ongoing development drive for a new and reformed Nigeria Police Force.
“He enjoins them to be patient and to believe in the reform processes which are all directed at ensuring the security, safety and rights of all”, says Frank Mba.