…Commissions newly acquired police operational vehicles
By Kingsley Omonobi, Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Joseph Erunke & Loveth chukwuemeka
President Muhammadu Buhari, Friday, said his vision was to bequeath to Nigeria a legacy of a reformed, modernised, fully-equipped, highly-motivated, and citizens-focused Police Force.
Buhari, speaking at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, where he commissioned newly acquired police operational vehicles and other assets,
insisted that he would like to leave police that was also re-oriented to the virtues of professionalism, respect for rule of law, due process and best international practices in their operations.
Even as he noted that there was a funding challenge facing the nation’s police, the president assured that government will continue to enhance funding as well as work towards meeting manpower requirements and welfare needs of the Force.
“My vision is to bequeath to our nation a legacy of a reformed, modernised, fully-equipped, highly-motivated, and citizens-focused Police Force that is re-oriented to the virtues of professionalism, respect for rule of law, due process and best international practices in their operations,” he said at the event.
According to him, “It is in cognisance of this that I approved the re-adjustment of Police emoluments as well as the recruitment of ten thousand (10,000) extra police personnel on an annual basis to motivate and enhance the manpower of the Force. It is also in this regard that I assented to the Police Trust Fund Bill to act as a public-private funding framework that will address funding shortages for the Police on a sustainable basis.”
He noted that the full commencement of the “Nigeria Police Trust Fund will further assist in meeting the operational and logistics requirements of the Force,” adding that to “give immediate effect to the Police Trust Fund Act, I have directed the Minister of Police Affairs to fast track the process of its take-off.”
He charged the leadership of the police to avoid what he called “complacency in the efforts towards ridding the country of crimes.”
The president also tasked the police leadership “to continue to give new orientation to officers of the Force such that they can appreciate the virtues of policing with civility and within the dictates of the law and ensure that the institution regains its position of confidence and respect from Nigerians.”
” Officers and other personnel of the Police Force, he said, “must take cognisance of the fact that, in the discharge of your duties, you shall not only be judged by the number of crimes you have stopped or the number of convictions you have secured, but also the extent to which the process of achieving your statutory mandate conforms to professional and legal standards.”
Stressing that security of lives and property of Nigerians is a constitutional obligation, President Buhari said the “Police is central to the process of meeting this obligation,” adding that “It is for this reason that I have always prioritized the Police as a critical agency in the internal security architecture of the country.”
Commending the leadership of the Police for keying into his administration’s Next Level agenda in relation to strengthening institutional capacity towards addressing internal security challenges, the President noted the reforms being undertaken by the Inspector-General of Police “as well as strategies that he has put in place in guaranteeing the efficiency of the Force.”
He said he was “particularly impressed with the technology-led and intelligence-driven models which have combined to bring about the stabilization of the security situation in the country.”
Noting that his delight was against the background that the “Inspector General of Police inherited internal security situation that was threatened by the heinous activities of bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers and other highly organised criminals in some parts of the country,” President Buhari added that the “nature of these crimes affected public confidence in the capacity of the Police to protect them.”
He, however, expressed “confidence that the strategies put in place and the quality of the leadership being provided for the current Police Force, will bridge the gap between the citizens and the police as well as increasingly restore public confidence and enhance the operational capacity of the Police.”
While noting that the police has been collaborating effectively with state governments, strategic stakeholders, and other security agencies to restore security in states that were hitherto confronted with the menace of banditry, he thanked the Inspector-General of Police for what he called “efficiently manage limited resources available to the force.”
Buhari also commissioned the Nigeria Police National Command and Control Centre (NPF-C4i) and the first phase of the Nigeria Police Crime and Incident Data Base (NPC & IDB) Centre, urged the Police leadership to sustain its “zeal for service to the nation.”
Earlier in their remarks, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu and the Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi, commended President Buhari for his consistent support to the Police Force.
The vehicles commissioned, according to the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, were 139 Hilux Patrol Vehicles including 46 Police Smart Surveillance (CCTV Camera-on-the Move) vehicles;11 Tactical Operations Vehicles fitted with state-of-the-art surveillance equipment; nine Armoured Personnel Carriers; five Troop Carriers; and seven Anti-Riot Water Cannon Trucks.
Besides, the president commissioned Nigeria Police National Command and Control Centre (NPF-C4i) and the first phase of the Nigeria Police Crime and Incident Data Base (NPC & IDB) Centre.
The critical operational assets of the Nigeria Police, according to the IGP, was in fulfilment of his promise upon appointment, to redefine country’s policing framework.
He said the patrol vehicles “will be utilized to strengthen the Safer Highway Patrol scheme, while the Tactical and Armoured Personnel Carriers will be used for special police operations especially, in support of our anti-banditry, anti-kidnapping and anti-robbery operations.”
The police boss said,”Upon my appointment as Inspector General of Police, I set out to re-define our policing framework. In so doing, I was motivated by the fact that security represents a key component of the change mantra of the Federal Government in the drive to take Nigeria to the ‘Next Level’, adding: “A well-equipped Police Force remains critical to the attainment of this internal security objective.”
Adamu explained that it was in furtherance his commitment to reposition the Nigeria police that purchased the operational vehicles.
He spoke further: “It is in furtherance to this that we set out to enhance our operational capacity towards coping with the dynamics of crime. This informed the procurement within our limited budgetary resources, of these operational assets.
” It will be recalled that I had previously briefed Your Excellency that part of our policing strategies is to deploy surveillance technology in our crime management operations.
“The acquisition of the Police Smart Surveillance Vehicle which are fitted with high-resolution, long-distance CCTV monitoring equipment with night electronic functionalities and are linked to the Nigeria Police National Command and Control Centre (NPF-C4i) is to achieve this purpose.
“The vehicles will be deployed for real-time electronic monitoring of the Abuja-Kaduna highway and other major highways and vulnerable locations across the country including the electronic surveillance of NNPC pipelines in the country.
“The patrol vehicles, on the other hand, will be utilized to strengthen the Safer Highway Patrol scheme, while the Tactical and Armoured Personnel Carriers will be used for special police operations especially, in support of our anti-banditry, anti-kidnapping and anti-robbery operations. The water cannon trucks shall be deployed for the management of civil disorders within the dictates of our democratic values, rule of law and international best practices.
“The Nigeria Police National Command and Control Centre (NPF-C4i) will enhance effective operational coordination and real-time monitoring of situations via video link between the Force Headquarters, Abuja and all the 36 State Police Commands and the FCT. Similarly, the Nigeria Police Crime and Incident Data Base (NPC & IDB) Centre is to aid the Nigeria Police in acquiring a credible electronic criminal database to support criminal investigation and strategic operational and tactical planning.
“Today’s event represents the first phase of our re-equipment plan and with the effective take-off of the Police Trust Fund, we shall sustain our blueprint of modernizing all components of our operations towards addressing any form of threat to our internal security.”
He thanked the president “for consistently supporting the Nigeria Police.”
“I assure you of our unwavering commitment to continually reform and re-equip the Nigeria Police to achieve Your Excellency’s internal security vision,” he added.