Security Vote: Strip Governors of Immunity Clause - Elohor

* Elohor

By Ikhili Ebalu, Benin City

Since Nigerian state governor have not been faithful or accountable in the management of the Security Vote,  the National Assembly should amend the Nigerian Constitution and strip them of the immunity clause, says Chief Patrick Elohor.

Chief Elohor, a member of  Amnesty International also contend that the  Nigerian Police Force and Nigeria Correctional Services should be totally overhauled. In a similar vein, he also seeks forn massive re-orientation of the populace  to properly  equip them with relevant skills and enlightenment so they can  exercise their fundamental human rights as and when due.

The human rights activist who is also the Enobore of Utako Dukedom in the Bini Kingdom speaking during an interactive session with  journalists  on the State of the Nation at his Freedom Castle ,GRA, Benin City during  the weekend expressed  regrets that operations of the Police and Nigeria Correctional Centres are largely hindered by underfunding and  gross mismanagement thereby jeopardising  the lives of majority of the people 

Chief Eholor who analysed the attitude of State Governors towards management of security votes submitted that their actions or inaction as the case maybe  greatly compounds worsening National security as the money in many instances are misappropriated. He thus advocated for a referendum to expunge the immunity clause from the 1999 Constitution so that more concerned Nigerians like him can sue overnors who embezzle security votes   in competent courts of jurisdiction.

He argued that  elsewhere chief security officers like Police Commissioners resign from offices when they are deprived of adequate  funds, manpower, equipment as well as  logistics to discharge their fundamental responsibilities to the Public.

The Amnesty International activist  further noted that it was too disappointing that as often as possible   every succeeding Inspector General of Police disbands police road blocks , but such gesture are merely cosmetic as the next moment Police officers  return to the roads obviously for financial survival and to fund logistics. He enjoined Nigerians to rise up to champion advocacy for provision of conducive environment for the Police to work.

According to him,  Police personnel needs to be guaranteed that he/she as well as their  dependants will not be abandoned in any mishap in the line of duty as he/she daily risks life  for the public, affirming that besides  proper funding, training and re-training of Police personnel should vigorously be pursued as it is practised in countries like Norway, Sweden and Ireland where even the mental capacity of would be Police officers are ascertained before they are recruited .

The human rights activist who single handedly organized a million man protest under the administration of Dr Goodluck Jonathan that compelled the Federal Government to address failed road infrastructure across South-South and South West urged the Federal Government to set aside  unnecessary arguments  over decentralization of the Police ,  take a bold step, and political will  to actualize the security architecture , while measures be also  taken  by the constituents to check abuses of the system by the executives, especially the State Governors.

Elohor further called for massive decongestion of the Nigerian  Correctional Centres especially as the index for the novel coronavirus has been on progressive increase adding that detainees under misdemeanor offences could be  let off the hook but  with bracelets on their wrists to enable security personnel or Welfare officers monitor their activities.

On ways to check political violence as Edo state approaches another Gubernatorial Election, Eholor urged  all key stakeholders including Government, Non Governmental Organizations, NGO, civil societies and other pressure groups such as the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, to come together and embark on a massive awareness and  advocacy against the trend, enlightening mainly the youths on the dangers inherent in electoral  violence.

He said it was quite regrettable that politicians never indulge or recruit their children or wards to participate  in the nefarious act but take undue advantage of children of the ignorant and " talakawa" members of the society .

The activist further urged the Press  to be alive to its core responsibilities to ensure equitable society, avoid compromises and pledged to produce Information, Education and Communication, EIC,  materials which will be broadcast on Radio and Television towards enlightenment of the youths on their mandate and roles to protect the Nations nascent  democracy, while maintaining   that a better Nigeria is possible
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