The Senate on Tuesday resolved to direct its constitutional review committee to put in place the machinery to amend the Constitution to allow for the creation of State Police. The Senate also mandated that the Police Reform Bill be passed within the next two weeks.
This was arrived at following a debate on the killings across the nation and in Plateau State. It was at the instance of a Point of Order raised by Senator Jonah Jang.
Senate President Bukola Saraki summed up the Senate position on the issue as fallows:
“We have talked about the fact that whether these killings were initial acts of aggression or reprisal attacks, it is clear that either way, it is totally unacceptable and we must condemn it in all totality.
“Secondly, these are acts of criminality and we should not encourage any other colouration to it, be it religious or otherwise. This is criminality. And as such, we have a role to ensure that we must address this criminality to see how we can fight it.
“We have spoken on many platforms and made suggestions to the Executive on the fact that there is a need for an urgent review of the security architecture of the nation.
“The debate in the British House of Lords also raises this point: “How do we think this would affect our economy and investments if we continue to have this kind of security climate?” We must see this issue of insecurity not only from the point of view that there is danger and insecurity, but there is also a danger to our economy — especially if we want to grow our economy.
“We as the Senate must come up with our own actions. We do not need to flog the issue. We have told the Executive what to do. We have told them privately and we have told them publicly. However, on our own part, we must decide on what we need to do.
“There are a few issues that have come up for discussion:
We have had the address from the Security Chiefs that came here on the issue of coordination to strengthen the nation’s security.
We have had the Report from the Senate Security Summit that we need to consider and deal with.
Now, we have the comments from the Deputy Senate President on the issue of State Police.
We have a Bill on Police reform that is due for Second Reading and passage.
We have the Composition of the Police Service Commission, which is listed on today’s Order Paper.
“These are things that are within our control. Let us play our own part to address the issues that we have control over.”
The Senate, there after resolved to:
1. Condemn the terrorist attacks, mass killings and displacement of the people and occupation of their central homes and farmlands;
2. Urge the Executive to overhaul the security architecture of the country and to put in place a better security action plan and decisively tackle violent terror attacks threatening the continuous existence of communities in the North Central geopolitical zone and indeed Nigeria;
3. Urge the Executive arm of the government to undertake the rehabilitation of displaced persons and reconstruction of communities in Plateau North, South and Central Senatorial Districts so they can return to their homes and farmlands;
4. Urge the Executive arm of government to apprehend and persecute all perpetrators and sponsors of violence, no matter how highly placed they are;
5. Direct its constitutional review committee to put in machinery to amend the constitution to allow for the creation of State Police;
6. Fast-track the passage of the Peace and Reconciliation Bill;
7. Call on security agencies to stop involving themselves in the politics of the nation; and
8. Mandate that the Peace and Reconciliation Bill, Police Reform Bill be passed within the next two weeks and the Constitution Review Committee within the next two weeks should bring forward the amendment for State and Community Policing.