Chief Patrick Eholor, a social crusader and President of the One Love Foundation, has called for a total overhaul of the Nigeria Police Force instead of the recent clamour for the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
He said that the idea of giving all policemen and women a tag of bad people is not in order as there are many good people in the police force.
According to him those who are not hardworking in the police force “have not let us appreciate the good men and women in the Nigeria Police Force. It is bad to say that the entire people in the police are bad. There are good policemen and women in this country. There are people who have integrity but unfortunately the thugs we call SARS have spoilt their name.
“What is important is for the police to be overhauled. The police have to be retrained. We are talking about SARS’ bad behaviour alone. We are not talking about what is causing the bad behaviour. SARS need our prayers because what they are doing is absurd. To tie somebody to a tree and shoot him; to drag people on the floor; to put their hands in women private parts etc.
“Those are not normal things. They need more of our prayers than our curse. However, what this country needs is total overhauling of the police. That would make the government to wake up. The government have abused their children (the police). Therefore, the police are transferring their aggression to the citizens.
“The police have no barrack; no patrol vehicle; no bullet; no uniform; no bullet proof etc. Some of them die for this country. Some of them take bullets for us. There are many of them who are hardworking.
“We must reform the police welfare scheme. They must have good barracks; good pay; good incentives; good insurance; they must have free education, if possible, for their children. So that they will now know that when they commit any offence they are out of the force.
“If we have such incentives for them a lot of them would wake up because they will be a disgrace to their family and a disservice to the nation if they continue to treat people in a manner that is not acceptable.”
Speaking on the suggestion by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, that the Niger Delta amnesty deal should be stopped because of lack of transparency and corruption, Eholor said: “If his agitation is genuine I will agree with him because the ordinary Niger Delta people have not benefitted from the amnesty deal. The deal was only rewarding the warlords who are supposed to be fighting for their people.
“They(warlords) fly in private jets, buy Rolls Royce and build mansions. They have undermined the purpose of the struggle and their own people. I am not somebody who reacts to issues with sentiments. I think before I react. If the amnesty deal have to be stopped there have to be a way to compensate and carry the people along because they’re the owners of the wealth of this country. But the wealth has been transferred to the north by proxies.
“If Monguno’s course is very genuine. I will be the first to support him. It shouldn’t end at that. We can’t speculate that over N700 billion has been spent. There are documents. Those who mismanage the funds, waste it, siphon it and are fingered for corruption should all be tried and jailed. If possible face firing squad.
“If we take this corrupt people to the market place, disgrace and humiliate them in the presence of their families others will learn. That’s what is called a precedence in law. There has never been a precedence here and that is why people do whatever they want to do.
“We have a constitution like any other country where people will be tried for tax evasion. As we speak now Donald Trump (American President) is already under trial in New York for tax evasion. We have countries like Italy that jail their president for corruption. Nigeria reward people with chieftaincy title when they are found liable for corruption. This is a country where somebody said if Senator Godswill Akpabio decamps from PDP to APC his sons would be forgiven.”
On the power tussle between the Police Service Commission and the Inspector General of Police, Eholor stated: “What has been going on in this country is that we have been giving the executive so much power that they don’t have. We have three arms of government – the judiciary, the legislature and the executive. But the executive have been able to envelope the other arms of government and that’s why I am agitating that we should collapse the centre.
“The centre has so much power. They state should have control over their resources. There is nothing in the centre. They are only using what we call poetic justice which is when you use somebody’s money to fight him. The centre has only being using our money to fight us and impoverish us.
“Every state is rich in its own. For example, where I am from, Edo State, we have bitumen, gas, oil, platinum, gold etc. If we had been allowed to control our resources we would be far better than the centre. That should stop.
“You have not mentioned the other nepotism ongoing in President Buhari’s administration. Recently, 555 DSS men and women were recruited and only 71 slots were allotted to the states in the south with the rest given to candidates from the north.
“This is unjustifiable. The north has gradually taken over power to themselves. Today, the head of key ministries, agencies and parastatals are from the north. The northerners are not the owners of this country. A lot of people will be stirring in their graves because we fought for the unity of the country.
“We have what is called federal character. But how is the federal character helping this issue when one group would seize everything to itself? If they are brilliant and know what they’re doing I don’t have any issue with this.”