The Senate has advised the Federal Government to evolve and implement holistic reforms in the Nigerian Police Force.
It gave the advice in a report on the mayhem visited on the ancient city of Calabar during the #EndSARS protest on Oct. 23 and Oct. 24, 2020, presented at plenary on Wednesday.
The call was part of the recommendations contained in the 69-page report of the Joint Committee on National Security and Intelligence; Defence; Police Affairs; Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.
The Chairman of the Joint Committee, Sen. Ibrahim Gobir, while presenting the report emphasized on the need for the police to undertake regular training to enhance their performance.
He stressed the need to employ more able bodied personnel, injecting more financial resources for the purpose of procuring arms, ammunition and other policing gadgets for efficient policing in the country.
Gobir said that investigative hearings by the committee revealed that the violence in Calabar metropolis during the protest led to the looting and destruction of private and government-owned properties
He said that action was “largely spontaneous with no identified goals, leaders, sponsors or financiers.
“It was a free reign for amorphous groups, gangs and criminals.”
The lawmaker disclosed that one of the victims of the protest, Sen. Bassey Henshaw, who appeared before the committee, narrated his ordeal.
Gobir explained that Henshaw said that it took a miracle to get him, his wife and daughter out from the mob which vandalised its way right into his bedroom.
“Henshaw also attributed the violence to the displacement of the people of Bakassi as a result of ceding their homelands to the Republic of Cameroon, a situation which turned some of them into militants,” he said.
He further said that the committee in its findings revealed that at the time of the invasion of homes, security agencies failed to promptly respond to distress calls from victims.
He added that several victims actually got hint of the planned attacks before the actual acts.
According to him, the police, Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were overwhelmed by the sheer number of the protesters who unleashed mayhem on the city of Calabar.
“We recommend the need for regular and purposeful training of personnel of the security agencies to be in tandem with international best practices,” he said.