By Ekamma UBA, Assistant Investigator Editor, Lagos.
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Lagos described the Nigeria Police Force is the best in the continent of Africa especially, in the areas of crime fighting and peace keeping operations. This is even as he reiterated his call for community based policing saying it was organic to effective local policing and crime fighting models. The President spoke at the opening ceremony of a three day Conference and retreat for senior Police officers themed “Repositioning the Force for the challenges of effective Policing in the 21st Century;” taking place at the prestigious Eko Hotel and Suits, Victoria Island Lagos. Represented by his Vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, PMB gave a statistical rundown of the modest achievements of the Nigeria Police Force saying in 2019 alone, the Police have arrested no fewer than 2, 348 armed robbery suspects, 1112 kidnap suspects, 684 murder suspects, 1513 suspected cultists, and rescued 826 kidnap victims across the country. According to the President, this could only be achieved through hard work and dedication to duty. He noted that in peace keeping operations, the Nigeria Police had been much more involved than any other Police in the continent of Africa adding, “Our Police have been to Kosovo, Central Africa Republic, Libya, Sierra-Leon, Sudan etc; and have always excelled. This is the most reason why the Nigeria Police needs encouragement and adequate funding so as to continue to evolve a peaceful society. Considering the fact that crime is dynamic in society due to change in technology, there is therefore, the need to also develop our crime fighting models to meet with the dynamics of criminality. It is to this end that the topic for this conference and retreat is more than apt to the current security challenges. I have no doubt in my mind that at the end of this conference, officers at critical level of policy enforcement would be better off. We cannot therefore, over-emphasize the importance of training and retraining of personnel to meet with the changing faces of technological innovations in the criminal world.”
On community policing, the President said the idea would no doubt engender effective and local policing models adding, “We have said at different fora that community Policing would in no small measure brings the people much closer to the Police and evolve local and effective policing models…”
Earlier in his opening speech, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu said he was optimistic that the conference would further sharpen the focus and administrative capacity of personnel considering the changing faces of crimes and criminality; adding, “There is a strong correlation between personnel capacity and organizational performance. The fact is even more evident in the Nigeria Police Force, given the increasing complex and dynamic nature of crime that we as the primary law enforcement agency, grapples with the routinely, the risk we regularly exposed to and our obligation to perform our duties within the dictate is the law. The idea of this retreat is therefore, in furtherance to our policing vision which emphasizes capacity building as a pathway to enhancing effective police service delivery in the country. We firmly believe that with constant engagement of strategic managers and consistent training and retraining of personnel of the force across all ranks, the expectation of the federal government and indeed, the nation at large for a police force that is knowledge driven, rule of law guided community-oriented technology-compliant and intelligence-led shall be achieved.”
Responding, the host Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat who commended the Police for such conference assured that the State would continue to support the Police in whatever way possible in their quest for a peaceful socio-economic environment. Governor Sanwo-Olu who admitted that the country was currently undergoing serious security challenges however, urged the Police to step up their crime fighting strategy adding that he was optimistic that there was light at the end of the tunnel. “There is no doubt that Nigeria is suffering from different security challenges and has managed to stay ahead. We have seen a lot of successes in the area of curbing crimes in the society so the Police deserve our gratitude. However, the Police must urgently step up their games and develop technology to fight crime. It is my belief that this conference and retreat will help the senior officers to be better kept abreast of the dynamics of crimes and ensure that we enjoy a crime free society.”
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