The Grand Imam of Akure, the Ondo state capital, AbdulHakeem Yayi Akorede has called on President Muhammadu Buhari and governors of the 36 states in the country to as a matter of urgency reform the Nigerian police.
Akorede in a state of the nation address on Monday also urged them to address the unrest among youths through massive employment.
Full statement below:
Worried by the current situation in our country from South to North, West to the East, I am moved to remind our people that not all that knows the beginning of a war usually know the end, again it is easy to predict the beginning of a war but not easy to know when it will end.
It is heart breaking when I read about the massive destruction of both public and private properties in Lagos alone.
Those who genuinely started the protest had since returned home, it is rather unfortunate that miscreants hijacked the peaceful protest to perpetrate their nefarious activities.
Our leaders I believe have gotten a lot to learn from the protest and the aftermath effect.
Our Youths should also know that much as we have the right to protest, we equally must be patient enough to get response to our request. Those properties destroyed is a set back for our national development.
The money the Government would be spent on repairs of destroyed infrastructure would have been better channeled towards new infrastructural developments like; Health, Job creation, roads and other amenities.
It is worrisome when I went round this morning and I saw, Police stations, offices destroyed in the name of protest. If our police could down tools for just 24 hours, then we would all know how important the police are to our existence as a nation.
It is barbaric in the present civilization to be looting, to set fellow human being and properties ablaze.
While I commend the prompt action of some State Governors in responding guickly to the request of our young ones, I wish to implore Mr. President to always respond to the citizens demand whenever there is need for such.
If Mr. President had responded to the yearnings of the youths at the right time, we probably would have avoided the catastrophic effects of the protest.
The minimum qualification for enlistment to the Nigerian police force should be National Diploma from a reputable institution.
Every new intake must pass medical mental fitness exam and must have a guarantor from his/her Community.
There should be fuel dumps and mechanic workshops at every Area Command where police patrol vans can be fuelled and repaired as and when due. If there’s any need to buy spare parts, such should be taken care of at the workshop.
With this, no policeman will have an excuse to extort money to fuel their van.
Every Area Command should have a printing press where all needed investigation papers can be printed. So, no IPO will ask for money for statement form from either suspects or complainants
All police officers and men should be issued Two pairs of uniform twice a year with accoutrements and other gadgets like handcuffs and chemical mess.
All police officers and men should have access to good and conducive accommodation with appropriate amenities.
There should be a standby vehicle already fuelled which any IPO can use for invitation whenever anybody comes around to make a report so that no one will have the gut to ask any complainant who’s already in distress
Government should make available fund for job creation. Those willing to sets up business should be encouraged inform of grant.
With adequate availability of food, the society would be a safe place for all. I am calling on the government to invest in Agriculture. You can not ban rice importations without an alternative source of getting rice to feed the populace.
All the industries our economy depends on in the 80s have gone into extinction. In order to put an end to massive graduate unemployment, the government should encourage industrialisation.
I implore the Federal Government to declare Education free at all levels. Most of our Youths that are Political thugs are in it because of lack of education.
Finally, the traditional rulers and religious leaders should brace up to play their roles as leaders to guide their subjects right.
It is our prayers that Allah SWT will give both the leaders and our Youths the ability to understand each other.
God bless our nation
Sheikh Dr. AbdulHakeem Yayi Akorede
The Grand Imam of Akure