UK-based Niger Delta activist condemns proposed bill on police commissioner
President of Niger Delta Youth Association, Victor James, yesterday, condemned a Bill by the British Government to turn the position of police and crime commissioner to an appointment.
The activist, who is based in the UK, said if the bill, titled ‘Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill’ becomes law or an Act of Parliament, it will breach the rights of the people to elect their choice police and crime commissioner. The bill will give a mandate to mayors to appoint the police and crime commissioner.
In a statement made available to The Guardian, yesterday, the activist said it is unacceptable to take away the rights of the people and put such in the hands of an individual (mayor).
The statement reads: “The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, Clause 30, which is a new provision enabling the Secretary of State to make regulations providing for the mayor of a Combined County Authorities (CCA) to exercise police and crime commissioner functions for that area.
“Nigerian youths community and African community in West Midlands is in total rejection of Subsections (2) and (3), which defines police and crime commissioner functions that can be exercised by a mayor of a CCA if such regulations are made under Subsection (1). In addition, Subsection (4) provides that for an existing mayoral CCA, such regulations may only be made with the consent of the mayor of the CCA.
“The Nigerian and African youth community in West Midlands express our dissatisfaction with this new bill intending to undermine and suppress our rights to democratically elect our choice of police and crime commissioner in West Midlands.”
While calling for the bill to be abolished, James insisted that if the bill is made an Act or law, it will give the mayor the power to appoint his own choice of PCC and not the public choice, which will obstruct the rule of law and the pursuit of justice in West Midlands.
He said the bill would be of no value to democracy, as it would undermine citizens’ rights to choose their police and crime commissioner and called for its abolition.