Nyesom Wike, Governor of Rivers State, has said the Federal Government is not being sincere in responding to the demands of the #EndSARS protesters clamouring for an end to police brutality across the country.
Governor Wike stated this in a television interview on Friday in reaction to the decisions reached and announced at the end of the National Economic Council (NEC) on Thursday.
According to the governor, the directive by NEC to state governors to take charge of tactical commands of the Nigeria Police Force at their respective state levels is half-hearted as only the Federal Government can control the police in line with the powers of the constitution.
He also noted that the directive to state governors to constitute judicial panels of enquiry to investigate police brutality is apathetic as the decisions of previous panels have been neglected by the police authorities.
“State Governors cannot take charge of Tactical Commands because they cannot employ or discipline anyone who errs.
“In Rivers State, we set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry that indicted SARS officers. Instead of the Police authorities punishing the indicted officers, they shielded them and even promoted one to the rank of an Assistant Inspector General.
“Now the Federal Government wants us to set up another Commission of Inquiry when the report of the last one we set up was not implemented,” Governor Wike said on a programme on Africa Independent Television (AIT).
The governor advocated for an amendment of the Laws establishing the Nigeria Police Force to tackle current security challenges facing the country.
He also stated that there must be a critical evaluation at the enabling laws should be the starting point in achieving an enduring total reform of the Police.
He said: “We are in a Federal System. Issues cannot be addressed by the Federal Government giving directives to State Governors.
“There is need for all stakeholders to look at the various laws establishing the Police to determine the roles of Councils, States and the Federal Government.
“We are at a point in our history that collective involvement is important. This is so because the nature of crime fighting today does not support a central command and control.
“We need to embrace the reality. Once the areas requiring amendment have been agreed, the National Assembly can now be involved.”