I’ll abolish police barracks if elected president –Sowore

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The presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, Omoyele Sowore, has said that he will scrap the police barracks system if elected the next Nigerian president in 2023.

The human rights activist said this in an interview aired on Tuesday by Channels TV.

Sowore noted that allowing Nigerian police officers to have their own homes and be absorbed into the rent housing system will give them a better opportunity to mix with the people they protect and understand their plights.

According to him, many Nigerian police officers and other security agents do not hesitate to eject civilians from their rented apartments when they are called upon with a law court order because having been provided with police barracks completely separate from the civilians, they don’t understand what the civilians go through.

He also said that security agents would be withdrawn from the Very Very Important Persons (VVIPs) where they are attached to work almost like common domestic staff and be returned to their constitutional and conventional duty posts.

Sowore, who argued that withdrawing policemen and other security agents from VVIPs is a good part of reducing the cost of governance, said, “I understand how the security agents work in Nigeria. They are hired mostly by VVIPs (Very Very Important Persons) to protect them and also victimise citizens. I will make sure that all the security agents go back to their normal constitutional or traditional or conventional duties.

“There is no basis for the army to be controlling traffic in our cities. The police have completely retreated from their job of protecting citizens. The police have become a force for protecting empty houses, helping in serving food to people at parties, they clean, they are drivers. There is nothing abusive that they don’t use the police for and these are the VVIPs.”

Speaking further, he noted, “I personally don’t believe that we should have police barracks. We should have a housing system for police officers that should allow them to own their own homes so that when they have an accident or die or retire, they are not reluctant to leave.

“We shouldn’t be having police barracks, and I think policemen should also just live with civilians so that they will gain some level of respect for them. That division between where they live and where the civilians or people they protect live is also part of why they treat them like, all these are bloody civilians.

“But if you have to be subjected to rent the same way civilians are subjected to rent, you will understand why they can’t come and ask you to go and eject somebody without a law court order because you also can become a victim of that.”

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