Police Reform - Why Governors Should Be Protesting Too!

To be honest I feel for a few of the Governors who have been trying to respond to the legit demands of young people on #endsars. Very few people know that Governors are toothless and cannot reform the police. Here’s why.
According to the constitution of Nig, the President of the federal republic is actually a powerful person; arguably the most powerful in the world, especially when it comes to the control of armed and unarmed forces. Our constitution gives him the total control over,
The military, DSS, brigade of guards, and the police. Even though Nigeria is a federation, the police force is unitary in its structure. According to the section 214 of our constitution, it establishes the police force, by extension the Police Force Council, #endsars
with the President as the Chairman. He also appoints the IGP. While the The NPF Council is constituted by the President, IG, PSC Chairman and the 36 states Governors. The latter are really like passengers on a train, whose itinerary they have little influence over. #endsars
It will interest you that Nigeria of course runs a system of Govt that is very similar to the United States. However, it always appears to me as though we copied what we liked and left what we didn’t like. Whereas, what we didn’t like (or copy) is actually what makes #endsars
what we liked work. For example in the US, you have NYPD (New York Police Dept), LAPD (Los Angelis Police Dept) etc, directly under the jusdictiom of the states, and under the control of the governors. Its budget, training, welfare etc are State’s responsibility. #endsars
More importantly, the composition of the force is also of the state, with locals who understand the culture, history and political dynamics of the state. The federal govt in the US (whose system we copied) does not interfere with state, unless the governor requests. #endsars
If there’s a state crisis that the police can no longer handle, as we saw in some states this year during the BLM protests, Governors could request for the national guard.

Coming back home, in Lagos, you have a police force that the governor has no direct control #endsars
over its Police Commissioner. They’re also mostly never from even the state. That goes for other states across Nigeria. It will interest you that even though a state like Lagos has no control over its police, it still funds part of the police’ operations. #endsars
As things stand, state govts make laws, federal govt enforces; and state pays for it. That’s why it’s not working. The whole system is broken, and needs a complete overhaul. #SARS for instance is a federal idea, not state’s. But the governors are dealing with the mess. #EndSARS
People were outraged when the Governor of Borno said he wanted SARs. Why not? That’s exactly the beauty of state police (and of a restructured country, I should say here). That Borno requires SARs to deal with its internal security issues doesn’t mean Abia does. #endsars
Thus, reforming the police is not a day’s job. It goes beyond increasing salaries, improving where they live etc. those things are great but it’s like putting lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig. Were we to do the hard job of reforming the police, we need the following: #endsars
1. A constitutional amendment
2. Creation of State Police; e.g; KSDU (Kaduna State Police Unit)
3. At least 75% of rank/fire of state is of the contiguous state
4. The CP should be from the state. The ability to speak the language of the locals is key to policing

5. Creation of a new compensation system

These are just some of the key things that a reform will involve. And someone might be wondering, but we don’t trust the governors not to abuse their powers if they control the police. Well, it’s because we’re shying away #endsars
From the hardwork that needs to be done. After all, you don’t avoid driving cars because of accidents, you simply get insurance polite. Without checks and balances, even the president will abuse the army, DSS and police combined. #endsars
So as we protest for police reform as a part of the #endsars agenda, let’s also be clear on exactly what we mean by reform. Increasing police salary is not this reform. This is why, behind the energy on the streets, there must be clear minds in a room who are working on details.
The devil is always in the details.

A Governor cannot be called the Chief Security Officer his/her State, but has no police to do the job.

As the nation stands with young people who are making the right demands, let’s use this opportunity to make the right changes.


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More from @KolaOyeneyin

19 Oct
#EndSARS - Leaders, Leadership & Authority

One of the most beautiful things about the protests that have broken out across Nig in the last 10 days is its decentralized and “leaderless” nature. As someone who keenly observed from its day 1 and joined a march on day 3, I stan!
Those that follow me closely also know that I’ve been very vocal about the incredible examples laid by the “uncoordinated coordination” of young people across Nigeria. I’ve also shared thoughts on how it could be sustained. At other times I sent warnings on #EndSARS blind spots.
Now, I’m here to discuss the controversial topic of leaders or no leaders. Please hear me well, you have leaders! You know you have leaders, I know you do, the media, NG army, DSS, Police, Governors and even the president knows that you have leaders. #EndSARS
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“God punish that your papa wey you wan talk to” was the response of a Police Officer to a young man who had been shot by men of the Nigerian Police, lying in a pool of blood. His last request/wish was simple, yet heartbreaking, “let me talk to my father before I die”. #EndSARS
The more videos I watch, the more stories I hear, the more I say to myself, we left a few people in this fight, for far too long; we all should have been screaming #EndPoliceBrutality on rooftops, church pulpits, mosque platforms, events and just about anywhere. #EndSARS
They say the best time to plant a tree was 100 years ago, the next best time is today. This is why I am deeply thankful that finally, we are all planting #EndSARS trees across the nation. It is Honourable for us to appreciate men & women who have been in the trenches for years.
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Why Davids Win Goliath!

If a sling & 5 stones were all you had, against a giant, backed by an army with monopoly of violence, what’d you do?

Most people run! Not Davids; they don’t back down. That’s the way I see the Nigerian youth right now. They won’t backing down! #EndSWAT
I wish our leaders would quickly realize that the Nigeria police especially is up against a force that is more united than they realize. The earlier they do, and agree to these seemingly reasonable demands made so far, the quicker things could come under control. #EndSWAT
Over the last few days, I’ve taken time to follow/engage countless of the young people who are fighting for their rights to live, by with #EndsSARS, which immediately became #EndSWAT as soon as SARs was rebranded SWAT, and one thing is clear, there’s no fear in them at all.
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Dear Nigerian youth, welcome to power. At last, our Gen Z becomes the generation to claim a degree of power and able to get an arm of govt to make concessions, albeit still far from the target. With power, comes responsibility/expectations. Now the question is what next? #EndSWAT
Listen to this, whether you like it or not now, you will have to dialogue. Dialogue is both a language of protest, as it is of diplomacy. While you’re upset, and rightly so, you’re not tyrants. Without dialogue, everything could be seen as noise. The challenge is...

for a leaderless protest, how do you dialogue? Who represents you? And how do you hold them accountable? How do you ensure that the sacrifices made so far are not in vain? How do you ensure that the youth remain at the forefront of it? I’ll come to that shortly. Firstly,
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There are some things I don’t apologize for or even think of hiding, regardless of where I find myself:

1. Being a Christian
2. Being a Black-African
3. Being a Nigerian

These are part of my core identity and who I am. I respect every faith and those that have none, but
When I come into the room, my identity as a Christian also comes with me. This means that there are some things I’ll never do, and some ideas I will never subscirbe to, simply because of my faith. For instance, I’ve never been involved in corrupt practices, it’s against my faith.
As a Christian, it also means that there are parts of the world that I may never be able to live and walk freely in, because of persecution. And if I damn the consequences and live there, I may end up paying with my life; as I will rather die than deny my faith as a Christian ✝️
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