CSO raises alarm over police reform committee



The Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) on Monday cast aspersions on the ability of the recently inaugurated government panel on Police Reform to transform the Nigerian Police.At a press conference in Abuja, the chairperson of the group, Ayo Obe, said that the panel led by Parry Osayande could not be solely relied upon especially because similar initiatives by the Goodluck Jonathan administration had proved to be ineffective.  She said at many instances, reports by panels inaugurated by the president were sidelined and therefore proved unproductive. According to Ms. Obe “Civil society groups fears that the fate of the efforts made by the Osayande panel may not be different from the fate its predecessors, particularly given the Jonathan Administration’s predilection for establishing committees, the reports of many of which will soon be on stream”.    Ms. Obe suggested that not a lot of people had faith in the panel because they assumed it was another trivial stunt by the Federal government which will yield no result. “Some have dismissed it as just another jamboree designed to compensate people whom the government could not appoint into some other substantive positions and whose assignment will come to nothing,” she said.Ms. Obe said that NOPRIN had decided to form a complementary committee charged with the responsibility of “providing a uniquely civil society perspective on the terms of reference that have been given to the Osayande panel”.“Civil society groups under the auspices of the Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) have decided to engage the process in a supportive and proactive way; proactive by establishing its own committee on police reform and supportive by being complementary to the Osayande panel”.NOPRIN, a coalition of civil society groups, announced that the committee it was setting up would comprise of six members of the group including Ayo Obe, Smart Otu, Josphine Effah-Chukwuma, Aisha Osori, Samson Itodo and Abubakar Mu’azu. Ms. Obe,  who will also lead committee, said the committee would identify the challenges and factors militating against effective performance in the Nigeria Police and make recommendations for addressing the challenges’She said the NOPRIN committee would examine the scope, standard of training and other personnel development and productivity concerns in the Police to determine their adequacy or otherwise.Ms. Obe said the committee would also make recommendations that would enhance the Nigeria Police.NOPRIN stated that it would engage the general public in the police reform process and encourage government to respond enthusiastically.”We will hold public hearings across the country from beginning from May, and at the end of our deliberations, we will produce a report which will be presented to Mr. President as the first step in a sustained drive to reform and restructure the police in this country”, the group  held.


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