By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Kaduna State has warned that the party will not tolerate a partisan Police Force.
This was expressed in a letter of protest addressed to the Inspector General of Police, personally signed by the State Chairman, Hon. Felix Hassan Hyet, made available to newsmen on Thursday night.
“While we reiterate our commitment to International best practices of Democratic Ideals, we hereby categorically state that we will no longer tolerate a partisan Police Force whether in Ekiti State or any part of Nigeria.
“We will continue to do whatever is necessary to safeguard, protect and enhance Nigeria’s democracy,” it stated.
According to the letter dated July 12, 2018, conveyed to the IGP through the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, PDP said that it was writing on behalf of the entire members of the party in Kaduna State and other lovers of peace and Democracy in Nigeria.
“We have been in total shock and dismay as regards the events of July 11, 2018 in Ekiti State. We have never imagined that in the 21st Century, and after fifteen years of getting rid of military dictatorship in Nigeria we will still be experiencing a situation whereby a sitting governor will be assaulted, molested, harassed and embarrassed by the men of Nigeria Police.
“The assault, molestation, inhuman and degrading treatment meted on the people of Ekiti State and Governor Peter Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State by men of the Nigeria Police on July 11, 2018 is despicable, condemnable and unacceptable under any civilized environment,” it stated.
PDP pointed out that even a common criminal deserves better treatment under chapter IV of our 1999 constitution (as amended) let alone a sitting Governor who is clothed with immunity under Section 308 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
The letter titled, ‘PROTEST LETTER AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY, ABDICATION OF DUTY, AND IMPUNITY IN EKITI STATE AND OTHER PARTS OF NIGERIA’ urged the Police to adhere to its duties as stipulated in the Police Act.
“We urge you to note that pursuant to Section 4 of the Police Act CAP P19 LFN 2004, the duties of the police are “…the preservation of law and order, the protection of life and property and the due enforcement of all laws and regulations with which they are directly charged…” . Thus we cannot accept a situation whereby a body set up for this purpose will turn around and be the main threat to law, order, lives and property. This is very embarrassing to our country, our democracy and our collective conscience as Nigerians,” PDP stressed. .
The party noted that events of July 11 2018 in Ekiti State have become more disturbing when one considers the fact that they occurred at a time when thousands of lives are being lost in Zamfara, Sokoto, Plateau, Benue, Kaduna and almost every part of Nigeria on account of avoidable insecurity.
“If the force exhibited on innocent unarmed civilians in Ekiti State had been applied by the Nigerian Police on violent criminals all over the country, we would have been better for it.
“Indeed the services of a professional Police force has never been this desperately needed ever since the civil war.
“Instead we noticed with dismay how this essential need of Nigerians is jettisoned in a bid to satisfy politicians in power,” it lamented.
The party expressed hope that the story will be different during the elections on Saturday.
“Going forward, we expect that the Nigeria Police Force under your command will exhibit the highest form of responsibility in the Saturday 14th July 2018 Ekiti gubernatorial election and all other subsequent democratic processes in the entire country,” it concluded.