Wednesday, October 10, 2012

CPC Calls Killing of Uniport Students “Untrammelled Barbarism”

The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has joined in the nationwide horror over, and condemnation of, the gruesome killing of four University of Port-Harcourt (UNIPORT) students in the Aluu community of Rivers State.

“The footage of this act of untrammeled barbarism reveals a sad commentary within the current Nigerian state: death is cheap and ubiquitous,” the party said in a statement signed by Rotimi Fashakin, its National Publicity Secretary, adding that it reveals that studentship in Nigeria is fraught with inherent danger because of the near absence of governance in the Country.”

It said: “The question is: where was the Nigeria Police while this fire of primitive justice raged? Indeed, the Police was nowhere! The defective organizational, crime-fighting thrust of the Nigeria Police is seen in its reactivity rather than pro-activity. Globally, policing is first and foremost about maintenance of law and order. The prevention of crime comes to the fore in the discharge of this responsibility by the police.”

It noted that this is why officers of the New-York Police Department (NYPD) are seen patrolling the streets in all the five boroughs of the City of New-York, and crime is thus detected and prevented. In the case of the Nigeria Police, CPC observed that it is hamstrung to do this efficiently because a considerable number of its insufficient personnel is devoted for the protection of the chieftains of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.

“Truly, arrests have been made in connection with this heinous crime, we insist that there should be a paradigm shift in the organizational strategy of the Nigeria Police to crime prevention,” it said.
The CPC also criticized the vigilante culture in Nigerian communities, characterizing it as evidence of waning public confidence in the Nigeria Police.

“First, the spontaneity of the response to distress calls is still a sore point in the performance of the Police,” CPC said. “Second, the delay or absence of prosecution and conviction makes for eroded public confidence in the Police.”

It recalled the case of a man who was arrested by the Police who had evidential trappings of an armed robber, but who made his way up and became an elected Senator, having escaped prosecution and conviction.

It said this may partly explain, but is not a justifiable reason, for why communities now mete out jungle justice to criminals or perceived criminals.

“As a Party, we believe that all these institutional foibles of the Nigeria Police are not enough for communities to resort to self-help,” the party said, suggesting that the operation of vigilante groups should henceforth be structured to work in tandem with the police, to whom they would turn over accused criminals.

Expressing its condolences to the parents, siblings, family members and friends of the deceased, CPC noted that the gory pictures of the gruesome killings evoke feelings of anguish.

“The murderous violence on these young Nigerians should therefore elicit a collective desire in us as Nigerians for a safer, tranquil and better-governed polity,” it said.


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