A senior member of Amnesty International and the Enobore of Utako Dukedom,Chief Patrick Eholor has called on the Federal Government to urgently put measures in place to expunge the immunity clause from the nation’s constitution, carry out a total overhaul of Nigerian Police Force and Prisons or Correctional Centres, as well as embark on massive orientation of the populace to better equip them with relevant skills to exercise their fundamental human rights as and when due.
The human rights activist who spoke to journalists on the state of the nation at his Freedom Castle, GRA, Benin City during the weekend expressed regret that the operations of the Police and the Correctional Centres are largely hindered by underfunding and gross mismanagement, putting the lives of majority of the People at great risk.
Chief Patrick Eholor equally observed that the attitude of state governors towards the management of security votes greatly compounds the worsening national security as the money in many instances are misappropriated.
He called for a referendum to expunge the immunity clause from the 1999 Constitution so that more concerned Nigerians can sue governors who embezzle security votes in competent courts of jurisdiction.
He said ‘elsewhere Chief Security Officers like Police Commissioners resign from offices when they are deprived of adequate funds, manpower, equipment as well as logistics to discharge their fundamental responsibilities to the public.
The Senior Member, Amnesty International said it was too disappointing that as often as when every succeeding Inspector General of Police disbands police road blocks, they return to the roads obviously for financial survival and to fund logistics, and enjoined Nigerians to rise up to champion advocacy for provision of conducive environment for the police to work.
He said a police personnell needs to be guaranteed that he/she as well as their dependants will not be abandoned in any mishap in the line of duty to put his life at risk for the public, adding outside proper Funding,training and re-training of personnel should be vigorously pursued as it is practised in other other nations like Norway, Sweden and Ireland where even the mental capacity of would be police officers are ascertained before they are recruited.
The Human Right Activist who single handedly organized a one million man protest under the administration of Dr Goodluck Jonathan that compelled the Federal Government to address failed road infrastructure across South-South and South West urged the Federal Government to set aside unnecessary arguments over decentralization of the police, take a bold step, and political will to actualize the security architecture, while measures be also taken by the constituents to check abuse of the system by the executives, especially the State Governors.
He also called for massive decongestion of the Nigerian Prisons or Correctional Centres especially as the index for the novel coronavirus has been on progressive increase, adding that detainees under misdemeanor offences could be let off the hook but with bracelets on their wrists to enable security personnell or welfare officers monitor their activities.
On ways to check political violencee as Edo State approaches another gubernatorial elections, Eholor said all key stakeholders including government, non governmental organizations, NGO, civil societies and other pressure groups such as the Nigerian Bar Association, Nigerian Medical Association should come together and embark on a massive awareness and advocacy against the trend, enlightening mainly youths on the dangers inherent in election Violence.
He said it was quite regrettable that politicians never indulge or recruit their children or wards to participate in the nefarious act but take undue advantage of children of the ignorant and ‘Talakawa’ members of the society .
The Activist also called on the nation’s media sector to be alive to its core responsibilities to ensure equitable society, avoid compromises and pledge to produce information, education and communication, EIC, materials which will be broadcast on radio and television towards enlightenment of the youths on their mandate and roles to protect the nation’s nascent democracy, while expressing his ardent belief that a better Nigeria is possible.