June 11, 2024

Police need adequate funding, logistics, for responsible, responsive policing- Makinde

Police need adequate funding, logistics, for responsible, responsive policing- Makinde

Gov Makinde

By Adeola Badru

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, has highlighted the need for improved funding, remuneration, and logistics support for the Nigeria Police Force, noting that these measures are critical to enabling the force to carry out its duties in a responsible and responsive manner.

The governor disclosed this yesterday, during a retreat facilitated by the Police Service Commission and supported by the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP held at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA, Ibadan.

Makinde, while speaking on the theme of the retreat: “Civilian oversight in Nigeria: Strengthening Police Accountability and Public Trust,” emphasised the need for a comprehensive approach to police reform that addresses the challenges facing the force.

“We cannot expect our police officers to perform at their best if they are not properly supported,” he said.

Makinde stressed that inadequate funding has hampered the force’s ability to effectively combat crime and protect the public, and that it is crucial to provide officers with the resources and support they need to carry out their duties effectively.

Represented by his deputy, Bayo Lawal, the governor opined that the current salary structure for police officers is inadequate and that many officers struggle to make ends meet.

His words, “We must invest in our police force if we want to see real progress in reducing crime and promoting public safety.”

“Our police officers are on the frontlines of our fight against crime, and they deserve to be compensated fairly for their work. We must ensure that they have the resources they need to support themselves and their families.”

In addition to improved funding and remuneration, Makinde also emphasised the need for better logistics support for the Nigeria Police Force.

This, he said, include providing officers with modern equipment, vehicles, and technology that will enable them to carry out their duties more effectively.

“Without the right tools, our police officers are at a disadvantage. We must invest in the latest equipment and technology to ensure that they have the resources they need to protect our communities.”

Makinde, while calling for synergy among stakeholders in policing system in Nigeria, expressed the support of the state government to reforms in Nigeria police force and civilian-police relationship.

In his remark, the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, who was represented by Amos Yahana, emphasised the crucial role of civilian oversight in promoting transparency, accountability, and public trust within law enforcement institutions.

Yahana noted the necessity for effective civilian oversight, particularly in Nigeria where the relationship between the police and the public has often been strained.

He acknowledged the numerous challenges confronting the police force, including allegations of corruption, human rights violations, and a lack of accountability, which have significantly undermined public trust.

Highlighting the significance of civilian oversight bodies such as the Police Service Commission (PSC) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Yahana emphasised their role in independently examining police actions, investigating complaints, and recommending appropriate disciplinary measures.

Yahana, however, stressed the need to strengthen the capacity and authority of these oversight organizations by providing them with adequate resources, legal backing, and operational independence and fostering an accountable culture within the police force, including educating officers on human rights, ethical behavior, and the value of community policing.

Also speaking, the National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, who spoke through AIG Effiom Ekot (rtd.), said the retreat would provide necessary reforms for effective policing and urged participants to come up with reforms that would enhance civil-policing relationship in line with international best practices.

Earlier, the representative from the Office of the Chairman, Police Service Commission, Abubakar Manunfashi, said the retreat was put together to fashion out ways and reforms for operational framework for better policing and civilian -police oversight.

The retreat provided an avenue for leadership of the National Assembly, judiciary, stakeholders in the Ministry of Police Affairs, Nigeria Police Force and the National Human Rights Commission, among others to brainstorm on improving the relationship in the chain of oversight bodies in the country and also form other ground work for operationalisation of a national policing plan.