By Deborah Coker
Benin, Oct. 19, 2020
As the #EndSARS protests by the youth in the country continue across the country, Mr Peter Esele, a unionist, has suggested that the Nigerian Government should partner the youth in the new Nigeria project for good governance.
Esele, a former president of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), gave the suggestion on Monday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Benin.
According to Esele, the Federal and state governments cannot claim ignorance of the excesses of the police, their flagrant culture of bribery or the complete lack of proper revenue allocations and monitoring of those allocations to the police force.
He also said that the government should partner the youth for a better tomorrow based on mutual respect and shared values.
He noted that Police recruits too were youths and deserve a better deal, adding that the protests by the youth, therefore, was an opportunity rather than a problem.
He said that the planned reforms of the police by the government could also generate employment and make the Nigeria police force better equipped to face the challenges of crime prevention and arrests in the 21st century.
“An enduring reform is not the sole preserve of the Inspector-General of Police. He is a part of the system that needs transformation.
“When the ailing structure is rehabilitated, individuals will find it harder to manoeuvre their private interests.
“This is where the Minister of Police should speak up and take charge at the behest of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I wonder how many Nigerians are even aware of the existence of a Police Affairs Ministry or who the minister is.
“Someone must take responsibility not just for the sake of appearances but for real change to occur,” Esele said.
He also said that currently, there were no technological linkages among the various police formations from the Police outpost to the Force headquarters.
He also recommended the creation and strengthening of a forensic department in the police to capture all crime-related reports and finger prints which could be instantly uploaded to the cloud.
“This will make it easier for data collection and the setting up of central collection system for crime detection.
“It sounds like a pipe dream, I know, but it is not impossible,” he said.
Esele noted that at the heart of the protests was the age old tension between generations adding that the exclusion of the youth from politics for long could no longer be ignored.
He said that the current trend of having grandfathers as youth leaders in most political parties was laughable.
“Young people are denigrated by the old and at times dismissed as disrespectful and lazy.
“On the other hand, they are invited into politics as thugs to cause mayhem or as token participants without real influence or a seat at the table of decision making.
“Are we truly surprised that they have created a seat for themselves on the streets?
“Change is inevitable, change is now,” he added.