Effective policing must be premised on rule of law, says Gbajabiamila

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By Victor Oluwasegun, Abuja

House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila has said an effective reform in the police must be premised on the rule of law.

Gbajabiamila said this on Wednesday in Abuja at the public policy dialogue series of the House with the theme: Policing and Human Rights in Nigeria organised by the House Committee on Monitoring and Implementation of the Legislative Agenda of the Ninth House of Representatives.

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He said: “The cause of police reform has, since inauguration, been one of the fundamental commitments of the Ninth House of Representatives.

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“When we adopted our Legislative Agenda within months of our inauguration into office, it was right there on the list of the things we hoped to achieve. When we updated the legislative agenda due to the new realities of COVID-19, we did not deviate from that cause.

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“This is because we recognise that the policing function is at the very heart of any fully functioning state. It is through the institution, mechanisms and resources of policing that the state can protect the welfare and wellbeing of its citizens. Without the ability to offer this protection, the state loses legitimacy and the authority that flows from there.

“A society that cannot effectively police itself ceases to exist, and a government that fails to protect its citizens has lost the right to continue in office. We must avoid these unfortunate outcomes.

“This is why we must commend the present administration, which inherited a flawed policing system, and is now taking giant steps to reform the system through the recently enacted Police Reform Act, 2020, and several other measures. But the work is far from done, and we must continue in these efforts.”