President Bola Tinubu on Monday charged the Nigeria Police Force to safeguard the nation’s security and make its wellbeing their priority.
Tinubu, represented by the Minister for Police Affairs, Sen. Ibrahim Gaidam, made the call during the opening ceremony of a National Security Conference and Retreat for senior police officers in Owerri.
Tinubu, who stated that internal security was the responsibility of the police, urged them to protect the rights of citizens.
He commended the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) for the theme of the conference, “Fostering economic prosperity, social integration and political development through enhanced security mechanism.”
According to him, economic prosperity, social integration, political development and national stability thrives when security and public order are pursued and guaranteed.
He added that as the nation prepared new national security strategies, his administration would push through significant reforms to make the force better positioned to perform its mandate.
The president also restated his pledge to continue to invest resources to improve the quality of police personnel as well as upgrade their equipment to make policing easier.
He also promised to review the allowances, living wages and working conditions of officers, in addition to providing more firepower to enhance police efficiency.
He also urged them to foster social integration by being fair, just and firm to both complainant and accused.
In his speech, the Imo Governor, Sen. Hope Uzodimma, noted that enhancing internal security to foster national unity should not be left to the government alone.
Uzodimma called for high profile corporate bodies such as oil companies and banks to be made to mandatorily contribute a specified percentage of their annual returns to police fund.
He equally called for more ways to capacitate the police and make them more efficient in fostering national unity and internal security.
He called for more trainings and improved equipment such as weapons, vehicles, communication gadgets and protective gear for the police.
The governor also urged the National Assembly to come up with a bill for a special police fund where national and subnational governments must agree on a percentage of the federation account to be reserved for sufficient police funding.
The IGP, Kayode Agbetokun said the focus of the police under his watch was standardising service delivery, driving transformative agenda and embracing principles of accountability and professionalism.
He added that the force would also engage in robust synergy with other security agencies to confront the menace of violent crimes in the country.
He added that this would restore calm to troubled areas and engender an atmosphere of peace, safety and security which would promote national economic growth and prosperity.
The IGP also announced the establishment of the Special Intervention Squad (SIS) which would be deployed to every command to deal with state salient security challenges.
He added that concrete steps had been taken to facilitate the smooth take-off of the SIS in 10 pilot states already identified based on recent violent crime assessment.
He expressed gratitude to the president for approving the specialised training of the initial SIS team which will commence next month.
He reiterated that the police were determined to further refine the perception of its officers to the essential concepts of human rights, rule of law and citizen focused policing.
The President of the Interpol, Maj.-Gen. Ahmed Naser Al-Raisi said Nigeria had played a key role in tackling regional and international crime since joining INTERPOL.
He added that this year alone, the joint INTERPOL-AFRIPOL operation, targeted human traffickers and migrant smugglers, resulting in over 1,000 arrests worldwide, thanks to the support of Nigeria and several other countries.
“Nigeria has played a vital role in several INTERPOL operations and initiatives over the years, demonstrating its commitment to tackling transnational crime.
“The Nigerian Police Force has also supported in the fight against cybercrime.
“In another joint INTERPL-AFRIPOL initiative, Nigeria worked alongside 24 other countries across Africa,” he said.
He also said the INTERPOL’s role would not be possible without the support of its member countries, including its 54-member countries across Africa.
“Your continued assistance will ensure that innocent victims are protected from some of the most common crime trends facing Africa,” he said.