…Loses 12,000 men in 2 years – Commission
Ahead of Monday’s National Security Summit in Abuja, some Nigerians have called for the overhauling of the Nigeria Police Force to engender a robust security for the nation.
Ahead of Monday’s National Security Summit in Abuja, some Nigerians have called for the overhauling of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to engender a robust security for the nation. Those who spoke to journalists in Lagos said that community policing was pivotal in the effort of the force to deal with modern security challenges.
The summit, being organised by the NPF has the theme, “Community Partnership Approach to Internal Security and Crime Management’’. A security expert, Dr Phillip Ujomu of the Department of Philosophy, University of Benin, identified major concerns that the summit should address. “The summit should address the fundamental problems of the public image of the police, manpower, human rights, police welfare, community policing and police education,’’ the don said.
Ujomu said the police had a problem of perception that had robbed off on their self-perception and their perception by the public. According to him, the image problem has enabled the general public to repose little or no confidence in the force.
“The police have a very serious public image problem. Consequently, the generality of Nigerians have little or no confidence in the police force.’’ The don said the police were seen as unable to follow the rule of law adding: “They are not able to pursue fairness’’.
At the level of policing, he said that the police had deficit in manpower. “How can 400,000 policemen police a nation of about 150 million? “A huge number of this are personal security to very important personalities (V.I.P),’’ the don said.
Ujomu recalled that Americans addressed the allocation of policemen as security details to V.I.P’s by creating the Secret Service for their protection. He said that the summit should look into the problem of the quality of manpower in the force.
The NPF Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu, said the summit hoped to achieve “enlightenment of strategic security stakeholders and citizens at the grassroots on their invaluable roles in national security architecture.
“This is with a view to engendering the spirit of security consciousness among all citizens, especially in the face of current national security challenges,’’ Ojukwu said.
Meanwhile, the Police Service Commission (PSC), said in Abuja yesterday that Nigeria Police lost 12,000 officers between 2013 to date due to death, dismissal, desertion and or retirement. The Chairman of the commission, Mr Mike Okiro, who made stated this said in spite of this, there had not been recruitment into the force in the period. `
`In the last two years, the police lost 12,000 personnel as at the last count’’, he said. He contended that internal security would be adversely affected by 2016 if there was no recruitment into the police. “By this time next year, if we don’t recruit, the possibility of police providing adequate internal security will be called to question’’, he said.
Okiro said that on assumption of office as chairman of the commission, his request to government to recruit men into the force was turned down. “In June 2013 when I assumed office, I wrote a memo to government that we needed to recruit police officers, especially as election was coming up in 2015, but it was turned down.
“In that memo, I recommended 1,000 officers from every state and 500 from the FCT making it 36,500. The number of police personnel is dwindling daily in terms of strength’’, he said.