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Group seeks state policing, condemns killing 

POLICE AND BURNT POLICE TANK

Following the tragic outcome of a protest by Yoruba nation agitators in Ojota, Lagos, on Monday, a socio-political organisation, Social Reform Group, on Tuesday, canvassed  the implementation of a state policing system in the country.

The group, which condemned the killings during the fracas, said it believed that having state police in the country would  curb excesses from security agencies.

The group in a statement signed by the national publicity secretary, Kayode Fasua,  quoted the national coordinator, Dr. Charles Oludare, to have  condemned the use of gunshots to disperse peaceful protesters by policemen.

Two persons lost their lives on Monday, in the violence that broke out at Ojota, Lagos, between policemen and Yoruba nation agitators .

Reacting to the incident, Oludare  said, “The police standing between us and chaos should not be landing all of us in chaos.

“This is a sad reminder of the refusal of the Nigerian state to adopt the state police architecture for interior security.”

While commiserating with families of victims of the attack, he urged Nigerians to seize the occasion of next month’s presidential election to vote for a candidate that would advance the cause of true federalism.

“If we had operated state police in concert with other federal investigative and intelligence agencies, a peaceful protest would not have turned bloody, especially  as prospective leaders of the protesters would have been legally profiled by the state police apparatus, whose men and officers are members of the community.

“In our community, despite our differing culture and ethnicity, we know each other, as it is the case in every community in the Nigerian federation.

“The police will know the people living in that community, root out outside crisis actors and protect the peaceful protesters from the community, wherein they will mount the stump, address their gathering, and return home without any incident.

“Our presidential system is ordinarily a carry-over of the American system, but local circumstances have given us a perverted version and we are all suffering for it.”

Oludare also reinforced the group’s belief in restructuring, which he said  does not mean secession, but devolution of power to constituent states and local councils of the federation for effective administration.

“If the people feel empowered that they have the rights to self determination within the Nigerian state, these secessionist groups would have lost the locus of their regional agitations, hence they die a natural death.”

The group  however, called on the Police Service Commission to adopt a culture of regular orientation courses for footmen in the police service.

The group also urged Nigerians to vote according  to their conscience, noting that vote-buying, rigging, and other electoral malpractices would only retard the progress of growing Nigeria’s democracy.

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