The National Leader of All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has said it was time to create state police, recruit and train more officers to fill the gaps in how military and law enforcement deal with the pubic during peaceful civil disobedience and protests.
Tinubu backed the call for state police in a statement on Sunday, in which he also addressed issues surrounding the #EndSARS protest that turned tragic last Tuesday when soldiers shot at peaceful protesters at Lekki Tollgate.
Speaking on state police, Tinubu said such state law units will be based on modern tenets of community policing and cooperation with locals.
According to him “The time has come to take the necessary legal actions to allow for the creation of state police and the recruitment and training of many more police officers.
“Such state-created forces should be based on the modern tenets of community policing and optimal relations and cooperation with local communities.”
“Measures such as these are needed to cure present gaps in how military and law enforcement treat the general public.
“These proposals are important and they do not hamstring proper law enforcement and security operations.
“We know there are criminal elements in society primed to harm people and seize property. We expect this of criminals.
“What is not expected is that people will be brutalised and scarred by those commissioned to protect and serve them. This anomaly must end.
“Given all that has happened, I must stress the great theme that underlies this entire situation so that it is not obscured and its proper societal impact lost.
“The right to protest is more than integral to the democratic setting; it transcends any form of government. The following thought may seem incongruous – but the right to protest exists only where orderly society exists.”
Tinubu also dispelled rumours linking him, first, to the protest and then to the shooting of protesters at the tollgate.
He added that although he got information that his business interests, The Nation Newspaper and TVC would be attacked, he refrained from getting security agencies involved to avoid bloodshed.