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A former Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Deputy Inspector General Parry Osayande (retd.), speaks about insecurity in the country and the recruitment tussle between the commission and the police in this interview with ADELANI ADEPEGBA

Do you think the Nigeria Police Force as constituted can address the security challenges in the...

A former Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Deputy Inspector General Parry Osayande (retd.), speaks about insecurity in the country and the recruitment tussle between the commission and the police in this interview with ADELANI ADEPEGBA

Do you think the Nigeria Police Force as constituted can address the security challenges in the country?

There is no way they can because, first of all, successive governments, starting from the military regimes, started the proliferation of security agencies by establishing identical agencies to perform the same job with the police. Those establishments now constitute leakages for security votes. By that, I mean, you have the Federal Road Safety Corps which is doing the job of police in traffic management. Then, you have other agencies, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission which are carrying out investigations into financial crimes which the police were doing. So, instead of having one strong security organisation, you have so many doing the same thing and even promoting schism among themselves. While one tries to outdo the others and in the process, they leave many things undone. This is the only former colonial country that has as many as four other agencies doing the same thing as the police. Take Ghana, Uganda, Kenya and other former colonial countries for instance; they don’t have what you call EFCC, ICPC or road safety corps. By creating all these, they are weakening the police and they brought in almost the dregs of the society.

Are the police getting quality training that could equip them for modern security challenges?

Apart from the senior officers who are well educated, a lot of them are graduates now, the other boys, we have secondary school graduates among them, but they are not well trained. We haven’t got a police institution with state-of-the-art equipment that can give modern training. For instance, you have 774 local government areas in the country. I can bet that many local governments haven’t got a vehicle. So, how do you police? Policing depends on manpower, communication and mobility and when I say manpower, I mean trainable manpower. These things are not there. When you report a case, because there is no vehicle, before the police could attend to you, the robber is about a 100km away. Tell me, what do you do in that case? The media too has a role to play. I know you have your limitations and constraints too, but don’t ask me whether the police are doing something about security.

What would you say is the impact of ECOWAS Protocol on movement on national security?

You left your borders wide open in the name of ECOWAS and you have not been able to identify Nigerians and non-Nigerians. The national identity card they are talking about also has to do with security. When you are talking of herdsmen, were the ones from Nigeria killing people? There is an incursion of herdsmen. I believe from the West African sub-region. So, don’t tell me the police can do all these things. Do they have magic? Every advanced police organisation use science and technology. Here, you don’t, you are still basing your investigation on question and answer. ‘Where were you last night?’ How can Nigeria as big as it is with its oil wealth not have modern cities with Closed Circuit Television? In London, once anything happens on the street, they would play back the video and the criminal would be picked out. The idea is this, if you want to commit a crime and you know you would be detected, that serves as a deterrent. How many crimes have we detected here?

Are you saying the government is not sincere about tackling insecurity?

They are not. The young boys who are ruling now are talking of state police. The most expensive venture any government can undertake is security and it is in the preamble of the Constitution-preservation of lives and property and provision of employment. How many universities do you have in this country? We have more than 100. How many people do you employ every year? When we were growing up, we had labour ministry, you register with them after graduating from school. If there is any vacancy in any office, they would call you. You don’t have to know anybody. So, you train people in the university and then, they have no job. You are establishing a second army which is more formidable than the national army. That is the army of the unemployed, that is what you have succeeded in doing and you want the police to perform a miracle. Everybody is asking for state police when they cannot pay N30,000 minimum wage. How can you defend the monthly payment of N15million to members of the House of Representatives while the common man cannot get N30,000 per month for transportation and school fees for his children? Is that fair?

But the police leadership believes community policing could help in addressing crime in the country?

What is community policing? The crucial concept is to get people who are well-trained to protect society while citizens are engaged in their lawful ventures. We were the best in Africa, but they killed the whole system. Are you not ashamed that the police are still using guns to control riots? Are Nigerians animals? Other African countries which have no oil revenue use water cannons which cannot kill. You can even colour the water to put permanent stains on the persons you want to arrest and then you go and pick them up. Here, we are still using guns to kill people as if they are animals. In other countries, they are talking about animal rights. Have you got any human rights here?

How do you react to the tussle between the police and the Police Service Commission over recruitment of constables?

That is a usurpation of the commission’s function. Before independence, there was a constitutional conference in England in 1957. The British government invited all the leaders of the country, Sardauna from the North; Nnamdi Azikiwe from the East; Obafemi Awolowo from the West and other political leaders from the minority areas, from Ogoja, Delta and other areas and the British government in their wisdom set up the Willink Commission to look into the fears of the minorities that the majority group may use the police to oppress them after independence. The commission came up with the idea that there should be a Police Service Commission and the function was one: to recruit people into the Nigeria Police and in recruiting, it should ensure tribal balance. The PSC became the precursor of the federal character regime. Two, that the police service commission should be responsible for discipline and for promotion, from Constables to Deputy Inspectors-General of Police. There was no DIG then. The highest rank was Commissioner of Police. So, it is in the Constitution that the function of the commission was to recruit. They may have delegated the duty to the IG because the commission was not fully functional, not well manned. I addressed this issue between 2008 and 2012. I started the building of the PSC headquarters in Abuja and it is one of the most beautiful headquarters of all the head offices of other commissions in Nigeria today. Go and look at it. And I built it with just over N4billion, whereas, others are building their own at a far higher amount. We wanted to establish that so they can attend to the needs of the police. But for the IG to wake up one day and say it is the duty of the police to recruit, I think that is not in line with the Constitution. There is no need for them to quarrel over who should recruit when everything is written in the Constitution. Either the Attorney-General of the Federation would resolve it for them or they go to court.

The AGF has written a letter, saying the police have the constitutional mandate to recruit their men. What do you make of this?

If the Constitution says it is the duty of the commission to recruit, I don’t see the relevance of his letter.

What is the implication of the refusal of the DIG in charge of Training and Development, Yakubu Jubrin, to respond to a query for misconduct issued to him by the commission?

I just told you that the commission is responsible for recruitment and discipline in the police. The Head of State should step into this matter. If I were the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, I would resign and leave the job for them. If this had happened while I was the commission chairman, I would have left for Benin. The current Chairman, Musiliu Smith, is a cool-headed man, so let the court decide.

What are the hallmarks of the police during your time which you would like the current force leadership to institute?

First of all, the police must be properly trained, not just the initial training, but continuous training. At the beginning when you are recruited, your career progress is programmed. At certain ranks, you are made to go for some specific courses and they are watching the areas where you are likely to excel and they put you in that area and of course, this must be backed by technology. Do you know that kidnappers relied on telephone to succeed? They, first of all, take their victim to a location, then they would start negotiating with the family members for ransom. We have equipment that can trace your location to three metres. Will they buy it? In Abuja, you would see poles meant for CCTVs, but why didn’t they complete the project? Somebody who was in charge stole the money and that was the end of the project. They have CCTVs in all modern cities across the world except in Nigeria.

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  1.   26 February 2020
  2.   swordpress.com.ng

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu,  on Tuesday said apart from inadequate personnel, the Nigeria Police Force needed no fewer than 1,000 armoured personnel carriers and 250,000 assault rifles with corresponding ammunition.

Adamu, who disclosed this at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Police...

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu,  on Tuesday said apart from inadequate personnel, the Nigeria Police Force needed no fewer than 1,000 armoured personnel carriers and 250,000 assault rifles with corresponding ammunition.

Adamu, who disclosed this at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs, tagged,  ‘Repositioning the Nigeria Police for an Enhanced Service Delivery, said the country needed  2,000,000 tear gas canisters and smoke grenades.

Other equipment the IG said the force required included 200,000 riot gunners and smoke pistols, 1,000 tracking devices, and 774 operational drones, among others.

He also lamented that poor remuneration scared best and suitable applicants away from the police.

As part of efforts to address problems confronting the NPF, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), last year gave the force the go-ahead to recruit 10,000 police officers.

Besides inadequate manpower, the police are also battling with other problems including dilapidated barracks, poor remuneration and low budgetary allocations.

The PUNCH had on August  23, 2019 reported that ten months after the President approved an increase in police salaries and allowances, policemen had yet to receive the pay rise. The President had in November 2018, approved an enhanced salary structure for the NPF.

At the House of Representatives event on Tuesday, the IG, who was represented by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Operations), Abdulmajid Ali, stated that aggregation of reports by the various police reform committees highlighted the major challenges hindering an optimal service delivery by the police.

In the document he presented to the committee, a copy of which our correspondent obtained, Ali said the challenges included gross underfunding, which he said was caused by inadequate budgetary appropriation and non-release of the limited appropriated funds.

He noted that the budgetary system still remained the envelope system, which he said was not capable of taking care of neither the needs nor wants of the force.

 

The envelope budgetary system involves the capping of funds at a particular amount notwithstanding the needs of an organisation.

S’African police got N1.137trn in 2018, N20bn was given to NPF, says Adamu

Ali said, “A comparative analysis between Nigeria and South Africa police indicates that while in 2018 the South African police got R46.87bn rand or N1.1372tn for visible policing programme, with a 6.89 per cent growth projection up to 2021/2022 financial year, the Nigeria Police had to do with N35bn appropriation and an eventual release of N20bn for capital and overhead expenditure.”

The DIG also described personnel of the NPF as inadequate to cope with the “expanding and increasingly complex requirements of policing Nigeria’s growing population and crime profile.”

According to him, 302,000 police officers cannot effectively police the country.

Poor remuneration scare best hands from police

Ali explained that poor remuneration and welfare regime, which he said were not only de-motivating  for officers, but were not attractive enough for the best and most suitable applicants for police jobs in Nigeria.

Policeman gets N12,000 on retirement

“In Kenya, for example, a police constable take-home earning is about 34,907 Shilling or N126,000, whereas his Nigerian counterpart earns unfortunately less than N50,000. Pitiably, this earning comes down to between N12,000 and N18,000 at retirement,” he said.

The DIG also said that paucity of funds had over the years made it impossible for an average police officer to be adequately trained and retrained for an enhanced service delivery.

He stated that improvement in this area would no doubt enhance professionalism in terms of weapon handling, investigation and human rights observance.

On operational equipment, Ali said, “The force needs to improve on its arsenal, as well as technology to combat cybercrime, insurgency and sundry crimes.

“Consequently, not less than 1,000 APCs, 250,000 assault rifles/corresponding ammunition, 2,000,000 tear gas canisters/smoke grenades 200,000 riot gunners and smoke pistols, 1,000 tracking devices, 774 operational drones, among others, (are needed)  to cover the length and breadth of the nation.”

While calling on the National Assembly for various legislative interventions, Ali stated the need to review the country’s policing structure.

He said, “In repositioning the Nigeria Police, there is the need to review our policing strategy as a nation. This informs the approval and adoption of community policing as the national strategy for internal security management in Nigeria.

“The community policing model being envisioned for Nigeria is one that will draw on the legal opportunities provided by the Police Act for the engagement of special constables who, in this instance, will be engaged as community policing officers under the coordination of the Nigeria Police towards evolving a community-focused policing architecture.

“When fully operational, the strategy will free up the human and material assets of the Nigeria Police, which are currently tied down to the management of low level crimes, and strengthen our capacity to redirect our assets and operations to high-profile crimes that constitute major threat to community safety and security.”

Aso Rock, VIPs, others have depleted personnel meant for main police jobs – PSC

In his submission, Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, a retired IGP, also decried inadequate police personnel, many of whom he said were deployed to protect public buildings and very important persons.

“It is from the indicated police strength that personnel are deployed to Presidential Villa, National Assembly, judiciary, top government officials at the centre (Federal Government) and all the states, prominent traditional rulers nationwide, embassies, banks, key/vulnerable points and all levels of police formations throughout the country. No wonder, only skeletal police coverage is available in all police formations nationwide,” Smith noted.

Ex-IG Arase, DIG, AIG endorse police demand

A former Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, and two other retired police officers endorsed the police demand, noting that the NPF needed more capacity to address the insecurity in the country.

Arase noted that crime had increased geometrically across the country, adding that the Federal Government should strive to provide the necessary equipment for the police to confront the insecurity in the country.

Arase stated, “Policing is about man, material mix. Once you have the requisite capacity and you are able to give them the materials to work with, you would now have the moral latitude to hold them accountable for incompetence or ineffectiveness.”

The retired police boss added, “I think the government should look into the request of the IG,  it is timely. Crime has increased geometrically, it means the personnel have to be properly equipped to be able to confront the challenges that they are facing.”

He stated, “I would want to appeal to the government and the National Assembly to take a look at it (police request), especially against the backdrop of the harmonization of the previous police reform reports – Danmadami, M.D. Yusuf and Parry Osayande reports.”

Retired DIG Adedayo Adeoye observed that training and retraining were as important as the equipment, noting that provision of hardware alone would not make the police effective.

“Look at the death of the Remo Football Club player which allegedly involved some police officers in Sagamu. How many of our policemen go for retraining after their recruitment into the force? So, training and retraining are very crucial as well as their welfare,” he said.

But retired AIG Austin Iwar observed that the police demand was inadequate, noting that the organisation needed more than the shopping list presented to the lawmakers in view of the level of insecurity plaguing the country.

The post Police need 250,000 rifles, 1,000 APCs, 774 drones – IG www.police.com.ng appeared first on SWP Super Word Press Nigeria Digitalmarket.i.ng.

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  1.   26 February 2020
  2.   swordpress.com.ng
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  1.   25 February 2020
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