OrderPaper’s Leg’ACE community engages NASS over State Police bill

Olabode AfurewajuApril 2, 20243 min

“The Leg’ACE Programme remains committed to fostering a supportive community where citizens can actively participate in the legislative process and collectively impact government service delivery.

The Legislative Accountability and Constituency Engagement (Leg’ACE) Programme, a community-driven initiative by OrderPaper Nigeria, has officially addressed the 10th National Assembly Committee on the State Police Bill.

This is as the National Coordinator of the community, Efio-Ita Nyok, presented its recommendations to the Deputy Senate President on March 18th, 2024, who incidentally is the chair of the Senate committee.

The Leg’ACE Programme aims to facilitate citizen participation in the democratic process by promoting legislative accountability and empowering citizens to engage actively with the legislature. The community, comprising Active Citizens Engaging the Legislature (ACEs), is dedicated to bridging the gap between citizens and the legislature through meaningful interactions and dialogue.

During the presentation, it highlighted several key issues and recommendations regarding the ongoing debate on the State Police Bill. This releases our recommendations into six. These include:

  1. Area of Jurisdiction Management: Clear delineation of jurisdictional boundaries to prevent overlap and confusion with federal police and establishment of mechanisms for cooperation between neighbouring states.
  1. Funding by the State Government: this is the crux of the matter and as such we suggested that state governments allocate a specific percentage of their budgets to fund state police operations, along with transparent budgeting processes.
  1. Resource Mobilization and Allocation: Guidelines for effective resource mobilisation through partnerships with international donor agencies and private sector stakeholders and criteria for resource allocation based on security assessments and stakeholder consultations.
  1. Recruitment Process: standardised recruitment criteria to ensure the professionalism and integrity of state police personnel, including educational qualifications, physical fitness requirements, and background checks.
  1. Community Policing Implementation: Training programs and capacity-building initiatives for state police officers, establishing police colleges in every state, and partnerships with community leaders and civil society organisations.
  1. Minding the Power of Incumbency: Establishment of independent oversight mechanisms to monitor state police conduct, safeguard against political interference, and ensure adherence to professional standards and protocols.

“It would interest the public to note that these recommendations aim to enhance security, promote public trust, and safeguard the rights and welfare of all citizens. By prioritizing transparency, accountability, professionalism, and community engagement, the State Police Bill can effectively manage state police forces in Nigeria,” it said in a statement.

“The Leg’ACE Programme remains committed to fostering a supportive community where citizens can actively participate in the legislative process and collectively impact government service delivery. Through monthly plenary sessions, knowledge exchange, internship opportunities, and constituency project tracking, we aim to promote citizen engagement and improve governance in Nigeria.”

Olabode Afurewaju

Graduate of political science and international relations with a passion for public relations, He aims to support all current frameworks that promote development and the integrity of democratic processes through discussion and advocacy.

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