By Levinus Nwabughiogu — Abuja
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu, has said one of the major problems facing the Nigeria Police Force is the public’s lack of confidence in the Force, adding that “there’s a lot of confidence-building mechanism being put in place to retrain the police to bring back confidence.”
He also said one of such mechanisms was community policing, which would bridge the gap and help the Force to be proactive.
The Police boss said: “Now a major problem is lack of confidence between the police and members of the public. That’s why the present administration was able to come up with community policing that all of us are trying to see how it will work.”
The Inspector-General said these at the public policy dialogue on “Policing and Human Rights in Nigeria”, an event organised by the House Committee on monitoring and implementation of the legislative agenda chaired by Henry Nwawuba.
The event heralded a police reforms bill 2020, which is due to be laid before the House soon.
The Police boss, who was represented by DIG Olushola Oyebande, said: “I want to say categorically that we know where we are coming from.
“If you go back to the roots, you find out from the colonial era what police used to be. When you don’t want your child to do anything, you tell them ‘I will call police for you’.
“Today there’s a lot of distrust and disconnect between the police and the public. So the community policing, as it is, we’re trying to bring into focus; to bridge that gap. It’s going to be community-driven and problem-solving.
“We want to involve the community, the locals, to be part of policing of the area. They know the culture, the language, topography and that’s why we’re having the community policing initiative to train the locals to join us.
“So all of these are being done— training of the personnel, bringing a lot of technical platforms to track down the heinous crimes we are facing today in terms of kidnapping— and I know the House Committee has done a lot in giving us the support.
“We need gadgets that are far ahead of the criminals’. So all of this we are trying to put in place is to make sure that we get to that place and we will get there.”
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, who was at the event, described the current structure of the Nigerian Police Force as “too weak to identify, account, remove and prosecute rogue officers.”
On his part the Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, Tony Ojukwu, said that the Force, as presently structured, was not predisposed to protecting human rights, saying that they operate in a harsh environment.