8th December, 2015
The Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, said on Tuesday in Abuja, that the ministry was committed to repositioning the Nigeria Police to ensure efficient and effective service delivery but said the perception of citizens towards the police must change.
The minister, who spoke at an interactive session with members of the House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs, also stressed the need to change perception about the Nigeria Police.
He expressed confidence in a reformed Police that would attract goodwill from Nigerians.
According to him, there is need to change the perception that people have about the Nigeria Police.
“Because without changing that perception we don’t see how the Police can be effective.
“Generally, people look at the police as being brutal, corrupt, unfriendly, and inefficient.
“So we thought that policing is not just a matter of arrest and prosecution, policing also involves community service.
“So we want to see how we can change that perception,” Dambazau added.
The minister also restated the ministry’s commitment towards ensuring professionalism in the Police through improved training and quality recruitment.
He further stressed the need for the Police to be better equipped in order to properly tackle the security challenges confronting the country.
“We want to see how we can improve the professionalism of the police through quality training, recruitment and through equipping the Police appropriately,” Dambazau said.
Earlier, Chairman, House Committee on Police Affairs, Rep. Haliru Jika (Bauchi-APC) said that the committee was committed to legislation for the actualisation of policies of government to improve the Nigeria Police.
“As parliamentarians, our focus will be the provision of adequate legislative impetus for the actualisation of the policies of government in Nigeria Police.
“The committee will address the perennial problems facing the police through positive interface with these bodies in order to make for effective policing in the country.”
In the same vein, Rep Nnanna Igbokwe (Imo-PDP) urged the minister to work assiduously to ensure that extra-judicial killings perpetrated by the Police was stopped.
Igbokwe also advocated for a transparent process in prosecuting policemen who erred in the course of duty.
According to him, that will help in achieving the required reforms in the Police.
He also canvassed for a reform in the Police that would guarantee quick response to situations.
Also Rep. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (Abia-PDP) called for improved welfare for the Nigeria Police.
She decried the deplorable conditions of barracks and other Police facilities that impair the performance of the Police.
According to her, it is an ugly situation that wives are thrown out of barracks without adequate compensation when their husbands die.
Mr Mike Okiro, Chairman Nigeria Police Service Commission, who spoke said there was an urgent need to recruit constables, cadet Inspectors and assistant superintendents of police.
Okiro said that the recruitment became necessary to fill the vacancies created over the years.
According to him, for effective policing, the country requires about 425,000 policemen.
“With the current staff disposition of 286, 901, additional 119, 421 personnel is required,” Okiro said.
He said that arrangements are ongoing to commence the recruitment of 10,000 policemen as directed by the Federal Government.