A former federal lawmaker, Sen. Paulinus Igwenwagu, has called for adequate funding for the Nigeria Police Force to enable it tackle current spate of insecurity in the country.
Igwenwagu, who represented Ebonyi Central Senatorial District at the Senate between 2011 and 2015, and was Chairman of Committee on Police Affairs, made the call in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Awka.
He said that the current wave of insecurity, especially the violent protests by members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), was an indication that the police needed adequate funding.
“Nigeria police require modern equipment, adequate funding and more strength to beef up the current number,” he said.
Igwenwagu, who also Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs between 2007 and 2011 before moving up to the Senate, said that if more personnel were recruited into the police, intelligent gathering would be efficient.
“As chairman House of Representatives and Senate Committees on Police Affairs between 2007 and 2015, I forwarded proposals on ways government should reposition the Nigeria Police Force.
“Two fundamental problems facing the police are government and the public, and once these are addressed, security challenges would be reduced.
“The government should tackle the problem of poor funding which basically is the reason why the police mount road blocks and collect tips from the public.
“For the public, they should always give adequate and prompt information to the police as that would make the police respond to issues and nip them in the bud,” he said.
Igwenwagu said that international best practices prescribed one policeman to 200 persons, “but in Nigeria, a policeman is policing more than 800 persons in addition to poor equipment and poor welfare”.
“Presently, we don’t have a law which permits government to detain someone after he or she has been granted bail.
“Such can only happen if such a person standing trial committed another offence.
“But, it is quite unfortunate that we found ourselves in this condition whereby one granted bail is held and protests by his group are taking lives and nothing is being done,” he said.
The former lawmaker, however, called on the Federal Government to meticulously look into the activities of El-Zakzaky group also known as Shiites, with a view to proscribing it if their activities were against the law.
Edited by Wale Ojetimi and Olisa Ifeajika