By Kingsley Omonobi
ABUJAÂ â€” THE Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ogbonna Onovo has taken a critical look at the force and concluded that indiscipline, lack of professionalism and widespread corruption have been the bane of the Nigeria Police over the years, saying that the situation has greatly hampered the quality of service delivery
Also reviewingÂ the increase in kidnap casesÂ nationwide and assassinations, especially the recent killing of Mr. Bayo Ohu, The Guardianâ€™s Assistant News Editor, the Inspector-General threatened to hold State Commissioners of Police responsible for any lapse in security in their areas of jurisdiction, particularly in this last quarter of the year.
The I-G gave the warning even as he cleared the air on the non-promotion of scores of Deputy Commissioners of Police, Assistant Commissioners of Police and Chief Superintendents of Police, who have been performing the duties of senior officers in acting capacities for over three months without elevation by the Police Service Commission.
According to the IG, â€œit is apparent that indiscipline, lack of professionalism and widespread corruption have been the bane of the Nigeria Police over the years, a situation that has greatly hampered the quality of service delivery. Our image has been battered time and again, leading to loss of confidence by members of the public. Our task is therefore to examine and brainstorm on these issues and bequeath to our nation, a Police force it deserves.
â€œWhile sustaining our efforts at stemming the tide of kidnapping and armed robbery in the South-Eastern and South-South states of the country, there is an urgent need for Command CPsÂ in the affected zones to intensify their efforts in terms of intelligence sharing and inter-state operations. It is hoped that this strategy will result in more success in the fight against the menace of armed-robbery and kidnapping within the zones.
â€œThere is also an urgent need for us to evaluate our preparedness towards the high incidence of crime associated with â€˜ember monthsâ€™. This becomes necessary if we must stem the incidence of crime during the fast approaching Christmas/Great Sallah and New Year celebrationsâ€.
The police boss who will be spending his first Christmas as IG said: â€œit is equally important that the tempo of preparedness be sustained even after the yuletide season in view of the 2010 gubernatorial elections in Anambra state and the 2011 general elections.
To ensure that this is strictly complied with, Command CPs are to forward their â€˜Operational Orderâ€™ for the â€˜ember monthsâ€™ to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge â€˜Bâ€™ Department outlining the various strategies to be adopted throughout the periodâ€, Onovo said.
The Police chief attributed the delay in promotion of senior officers by the PSC, to the new Police reform policy which states that before any officer is promoted to the next rank, he must write promotion exams after attending relevant courses.