BY KINGSLEY OMONOBI
ABUJA — As the first national security summit to be convened by the Nigeria Police Force in conjunction with Vanguard Newspapers kicks off today, Zonal Assistant Inspectors General of Police from the 12 zones in the country and most of the 48 Commissioners of Police representing commands and various departments in the force have converged on Abuja.
This came as the Force Headquarters disclosed, yesterday, that the summit, coming at a very auspicious time when security challenges plaguing the country have gone from the sophisticated to scientific especially with bombings, kidnapping and sea piracy, would be flagged off by President Goodluck Jonathan.
A statement signed by the Force spokesman, CSP Frank Mba, said: “As part of efforts at encouraging a broad-based approach to tackling emerging contemporary security challenges in Nigeria, the Nigeria Police in conjunction with Vanguard Newspapers will be organising a two-day National Security Summit with the theme ‘Addressing Nigeria’s Security Challenges for Sustainable Peace and Development’.
The event is billed to take place today and tomorrow at the International Conference Centre, Abuja from 10a.m. each day.
Public-private partnership initiative
The summit which will be attended by military and police chiefs, security experts/practitioners from within and outside the country as well as other critical stakeholders in Nigeria, is a public-private partnership initiative expected to provide an avenue for Nigerians from all walks of life to make informed input into concerted efforts by the Police and other security agencies at providing lasting solution to Nigeria’s security challenges.
Emphasizing the importance of the summit to the transformation agenda of the Federal Government, particularly as it relates to issues of safety and security of the nation, the statement urged participants to seize the opportunity provided by the summit to make sincere and informed input on matters bordering on the general security of Nigeria and Nigerians.
Rationale for the summit
It stated that the rationale for the summit was predicated upon the belief of the Force that the business of policing and securing Nigeria is the responsibility of all and that no single individual or organisation has monopoly of security knowledge.
While assuring participants that input, suggestions, contributions and decisions reached at the summit will be given their pride of place in new security policies and strategic operational plans by the government and the Police High Command, the IG promised that the Force would do everything humanly possible to guarantee a safe, conducive and democratic atmosphere at the summit to enable participants undertake a free, candid and unfettered intellectual discourse.
Participants expected at the summit include representatives of state governors, special advisers on security to state governors, principal officers of national and state assemblies, CEOs of registered and active private security agencies and representatives of ethnic forums and nationalities.
Others are representatives of National Human Rights Commission, invited NGOs and civil society groups, Labour groups such as NLC, PENGASSAN, TUC, and professional groups such as NBA, NMA, Guild of Editors, NUJ, representatives of PCRC at national and state levels and other invited participants.
Jonathan launches Code of Conduct for Police
Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan will, Thursday, inaugurate a ‘Professional Code of Conduct’ for the Nigeria Police Force.
Making the disclosure in Abuja, the Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, said: “On the 10th of this month, a professional code of conduct will be launched by Mr. President for all officers and men of the Nigeria Police for the first time in the history of the Nigeria Police.
“We are putting up this effort to ensure that you (Police personnel) are guided to ensure that our officers are respected, to ensure that Nigerians understand what we should do and what we should not do.
“The new ‘Code of Conduct’ is a set of rules collated and formulated under the leadership of IGP Abubakar, for guiding and regulating the behaviours of Police officers in Nigeria – while on or off duty.
“The code contains standard policing rules as well as contemporary international best practices in law enforcement as available in various United Nations Conventions, the Nigeria Constitution, Police Act and Regulations and other domestic statutes. It is intended to be used by Police officers in determining what is right and proper in all their actions.
To promote efficiency, effectiveness
“The code is designed to promote efficiency and effectiveness of Police services by promoting transparency, accountability and a deeper sense of civilian oversight on police activities. It is further intended to promote discipline, professionalism and strict adherence to due process in police activities and operations.
“Its institution within the Force is, therefore, part of measures by the IGP to promote the Federal Government’s transformational agenda, through deliberate and conscious efforts at encouraging positive attitudinal change among all cadres of officers within the Force.
“Thus, its launch is meant to generate the needed awareness among government officials, members of the Force and the general public; and to formally announce the enforcement of the ‘code’ both as a guide for all personnel of the Force, as well as an instrument for monitoring the conduct of individual Police officers in the daily performance of their duties, by the Police High Command and the public.”