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More Nigerians demand holistic police reform, professionalism

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Only holistic reform of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) by the Federal Government will assuage Nigerian youths who have been on the streets since Monday to protest against police brutality and intimidation, especially by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

This seems to be the consensus all over the country as amplified by some activists, politicians, and unionists yesterday.

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Lagos-based socio-political activist and critic, Chief Adesunbo Onitiri, stated yesterday that the present police structure was outdated and should be modernised to reflect the current realities and conditions as against the one inherited from the colonialists.

He pointed out that the nationwide protests could be a good omen to stop bad governance of the successive regimes in the country.

Also, the former governorship candidate of Labour Party (LP) in Ekiti State, Mr. Babatunde Loye, said there is urgent need for the government to undertake the holistic reform of the police.

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While addressing journalists in Ado Ekiti yesterday, Loye said reforms would help end extra-judicial killings and extortion, as well as engender professionalism and restore public confidence in the police.
ASSOCIATION of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for dissolving SARS, urging him to reform the police force.

The civil servants said Buhari being holistic in nature would ensure that the allegations against SARS did not find their way into the force through another guise.

The National President of ASCSN, Bola-Audu Innocent, and the Secretary-General, Alade Lawal, stated yesterday that if the reforms were implemented, the envisaged new police unit to be saddled with combating violent crimes would meet the aspirations of Nigerians.

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According to the union, the disbandment of SARS by the Federal Government following mass protests by the youths and civil society groups across the country demonstrated clearly that Buhari listens to the cries of the people, even as it called on youths to avoid any form of violence in the protests. 

ASCSN advised that officers and men that would be deployed to the new police unit should be exposed to constant training and retraining, especially on modern policing methods, including how to treat the citizens with civility and refrain from acting in manners that tend to suggest that they were out to cow, oppress and humiliate the populace.   

The union also canvassed the need for the new unit to have the functional mode of monitoring, evaluation, and enforcement required of a police unit that deals with the public daily.

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