The Chairman of the Police Public Complaints Committee (PPCC), Mr. Abel Olumuyiwa Enitan has reiterated that the PPCC was crucial, central, and strategic to the free and fair conduct of elections that would be acceptable to Nigerians.
He stated this at a regular meeting of the Committee held at the Headquarters of the Ministry of Police Affairs in Abuja on Thursday 2nd February, 2023.
The Chairman, who doubles as the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Police Affairs, observed that once members of the public perceived the policeman as friend, partner, dependable and trusted ally, they would feel free and comfortable to participate and exercise their franchise during the elections.
Mr. Abel noted that fear was palpable in some regions of the country because of vested interests, which have led to the incessant destruction of property, and sometimes harassment of the citizens. He also noted that there was the need to always calm frayed nerves and assured the citizens that once their rights were violated, there were available channels to seek redress and get justice.
In his words, “when there is a channel through which you can make your grievances known and obtain justice, citizens could go out there to do whatever they wanted to do within the limits of the law. If citizens were molested by policemen in uniform, they had the right channel to seek redress. The general public should have a platform to lay their complaints whenever there was the need to do so and to be sure that they get justice at the end of the day. This will diffuse tension in the country”.
The Chairman emphasized that the committee was a critical agent of peace that seeks to fight for the downtrodden, the less privileged, and the vulnerable and harvest complaints put forward for consideration and handle them in such a way that the aggrieved would be satisfied.
The committee emphasized the need for more visibility of its activities to the citizens and effective partnership with relevant agencies such as the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), the Police Service Commission (PSC), the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) as well as market and transport organizations to create and improve the awareness of the citizens on the responsibility of the committee.
The Police Public Complaints Committee (PPCC) is an additional layer for the protection of people’s rights whenever there were infringement on these rights or abuse of power, particularly by police personnel in the line of duty.