By Charles C. Opara
President Muhammadu Buhari recently in Abuja promised that his administration will bequeath to Nigerians a reformed, re-oriented, well trained, well-equipped and highly motivated Police Force, stressing that this dream can only be attained with the support of the citizens.“This remains a sacred civic responsibility which all citizens owe this country, especially at this time that we are re-energising our counter-terrorism initiatives and working very hard to protect the citizens from crime and guarantee the safety and security of all Nigerians,” he said.
The President also said the Federal Government was planning to recruit no fewer than 10,000 police officers and establish a properly trained and equipped Federal Anti-Terrorism Multi-Agency Task Force that will effectively address the challenge of future insurgency in a sustainable manner.
Buhari, who disclosed these while declaring open the Security Summit organised by the Nigeria Police, said in the meantime, efforts were being made to enhance the operational capacity of officers of the Nigeria Police through a tailor-made training programme that will give them the right civil orientation in their roles as guardians of the constitution.
In his speech, the President, who expressed the hope that the National Security Summit will develop pathways for the attainment of a security policy focus of the new administration, said: “In order to further strengthen the security of the public space, consideration is being given to the expansion of the CCTV Monitoring System across major cities and towns in the country, while the police accountability mechanism will be strengthened.”
Stressing the importance of the summit, the president said: “Today’s event represents a significant step in the effort of the new government towards redefining the policing and national security arrangements for our country.
“The significance of the event lies in its potential to galvanize community support and secure citizens’ consent for the Nigeria Police in advancement of their crime prevention and detection mandate. As stated in my inaugural address we intend by the end of our four-year term to attempt to erect and maintain an efficient, disciplined, people-friendly and well-compensated security architecture.
“Effective policing of a society is dependent on the level of security consciousness of the citizens and the strength of the understanding that exists between the Policing Agencies and the community. This explains why it is generally acknowledged that no Police Force in the world, no matter how well motivated, equipped or trained can successfully operate without the acceptance and support of the various communities.
“The need for community input to policing and crime management in Nigeria has even become more imperative considering our current national security challenges in which kidnapping, armed robbery, murder, transnational crimes, terrorism and other organized crimes have evolved to threaten our national values and over-all progress as a nation.
“While it is understandable that unemployment, illiteracy, radicalisation, negative peer group influence, substance abuse and erosion of family and moral values are social factors that underlie criminal tendencies, the reality remains that the task of addressing these challenges is that of parents, teachers, community and the State. In other words it is a bottom to top operation.
“It is in acknowledgement of this that I have defined youth employment as one of the cardinal objectives of our administration.”