By Tope George, Abuja.
As many Nigerians took to the streets to protest police brutality, Nigerian leaders take note. One leader who has been deeply touched by the events unfolding in the streets of Nigeria is Senator Orji Uzor Kalu. The Senator has indicated his strong support for all Nigerians who call for serious and lasting reforms in policing. He admits that the problem of police brutality and abuse of rights unfortunately grew into crisis and ultimately evolved into a national tragedy. According to him, that tragedy must be tackled now, and all hands must be on deck. According to him, “At a time when the country is experiencing unprecedented high crime kevels, we cannot afford to have a police unit like SARS, which could so blatantly trample upon the rights of Nigerians.”
As the Senator recently made clear in one of his press statements, maters bothering on justice and equity are very dear to his heart. Not long ago, he gave his commitments to Nigerians that he would fight for justice for all wherever he has the opportunity to do so. He understands that when it comes to the administration of criminal justice, the police is a vital institution. Therefore, he believes that Nigeria cannot afford to fail to get it right when it comes to effective and efficient policing based on internationally accepted standards that prioritize human dignity and due respect to human rights and freedoms.
Consistent with this position, Senator Kalu has called on police high command and relevant agencies of the Nigerian Government to continue, and even strengthen, all their efforts to answer the calls of Nigerians in this regard. At the same time, he is reaching out to his colleagues in both the House of Representatives and the Senate on how the legislative arm of government can facilitate and support necessary reforms in this important area in the interest of all Nigerians.
The Senator is presently consulting widely on this natter and he plans to disclose in the near future some initiatives, personal and official, that he will be pursuing in support of necessary reforms. In his words, “I strongly believe that we, Nigerians, have arrived at the threshold where we must make justice, human rights and rule of law the critical cornerstones upon which we must base all that we do as a people and as a government”.