IG: Buhari Has Approved Recruitment of 60000 Police Officers in Six Years – THISDAY Newspapers
•AbdulRazaq seeks better security presence in Kwara
The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Usman Alkali Baba, on Wednesday, disclosed that as part of initiatives to tackle prevalent shortage of manpower as well as contain increasing insecurity, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the recruitment of 10,000 police personnel each year, translating into 60,000 in six years.
This, nonetheless, the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has called for increased presence of police officers and other security officials in the state to enhance the security of life and property.
Baba, who dropped the hint in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, during his one-day visit to the state said, the exercise would take place across the 774 local government councils in the country in order to reflect the home-based grown security apparatus.
According to him, the engagement of more police personnel was supposed to have started last year.
“A total number of 20,000 police personnel would be employed this year across the 774 local government areas of the country in order to take care of last year planned employment that did not take place.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has given approval for us to recruit 10,000 police personnel every year for six years. We have started but we have not done for 2020. So, we are doing for 2020 and 2021 between now and the end of the year. Their training is for six months. Latest by the end of 2021, our strength is expected to increase by 20,000,” he said.
He stressed that the recruitment exercise would help employ those that stayed within their localities since they were expected to know the areas they would be covering.
The police boss pointed out that, the development would also assist the police to have cultural background of the recruited men that would be monitoring the day-to-day maintenance of law and order in their areas.
He, however, contended that the country was winning the war against banditry and insurgency, adding that the police were not fighting the war alone.
“All other security agencies are in synergy in the fight against the bandits, including the military, which is leading the war and we’re winning,” he said.
Baba charged the officers and men of the Police to change their attitude to work by shunning bribery and stop extortion, saying, “anything that comes through bad ways, affects you in bad ways,” even as he encouraged the officers and men to rededicate themselves to their job.
Baba, who also said part of his visit was to inspect the Nigeria Police Intelligence School, which was under construction in Share, Ifelodun local government area, stated: “I am here on a one-day visit to appreciate and give words of encouragement to our officers and men in Kwara, as well as tell them what my administration has come to do.
“The government of President Muhammadu Buhari is doing its best efforts to meet our needs. The police reform is also being pursued. Our pension, which is one of the bane of retired police officers, is also being looked at.
“We have one of our most important institutions in Kwara, which is our intelligence school, which ought to have taken up since in Share (Ifelodun local government). My mission is to get it take off immediately.”
According to him, his administration was adopting intelligence gathering and ICT to check crimes and criminalities in the country.
“I have a mission and vision of policing through intelligence and proactive means of policing. Policing is key, ICT is key and training is key. With the three, you can sit down and police the whole state.
“It is our intention to do manpower development in the art of intelligence gathering so that we will be able to police the country not manually but through e-policing.
“We can do a lot with proactive policing instead of being reactive. We are asking for more support from your administration to ensure that the school takes off. We are ready and willing under this administration to make the condition of service more conducive for our officers and men to better serve the people, he said.
Speaking directly to his men, he said, “You’re here doing the job of law enforcement officers. Most of us serving here must have come from other part of the country. It is Nigeria Police, it is not Kwara Police or Ilorin Police. So, we must dedicate ourselves to do more. However, I want to congratulate you that Kwara State is the most peaceful state compared to many others.”
He clarified that community policing was a voluntary vocation and meant for people, who had jobs but only wanted to give back to their society by helping to keep it safe.
The clarification came on the heels of suggestions that the government was meant to pay some community police constabularies that were recently inducted across the country, including in Kwara State.
“For those who are interested in the community policing project, community Police officers are supposed to be people, who have lawful means of livelihood. It is not a paid job. Community Police officers are not going to be paid.
“They are people, who have the interest of protecting their community, who would volunteer service to their community at their own leisure hours, may be after closing from work, market or their business, and come together in support of their community and try to provide service.
“We have made a lot of efforts to train those who are interested and we are also training more. Our training is just for them to have rudiments of policing, rudiments of crime prevention and control. The training is for them to know the rules of ‘dos and don’ts’. These are some of the aspects of the things we do,” he said.
He, however, maintained that, “Nobody eliminate crimes completely from any society but you can mitigate or reduce it to the barest minimum. When you reduce crimes to the barest minimum, people will go about their lawful businesses. When you enforce law and order, the society will be a society, where impunity is brought down and other forms of lawlessness will not be there.
“When you dedicate yourself to your job as law enforcement officer, you have your reward not only here but also in heaven, because it is a social service. This uniform will give you your paradise and it can also give you your hell, depending on how you wear it and how you want work with it.
On his part, AbdulRazaq, who made the call for better security, when he received Baba at the presidential lodge, Ilorin, said, “Our challenges are enormous. Being a relatively safe state, security agencies tend to be comfortable with Kwara and that explains why they often take out forces from Kwara to bolster security elsewhere.
“For example, the Army has taken out most of their men to Northeast and we are making efforts to get them back. For the police, our need requirement is about 8,000-10,000 men but we have only about 3,000 now. Many officers of the two mobile squadrons here have been moved out. I am saying this because we definitely need more men on ground here.
“The recent ban on grazing by Southern Governors and some security issues in our neighbouring states have resulted in influx of internally displaced persons to Kwara.
“In many parts of some of our villages, the communities are outnumbered by those that are coming in. This is a state of harmony and people are welcome but this (influx) is clearly overstretching the manpower of the Nigeria Police, which is the primary agency for internal security. From Kwara North to Kwara South, it is an enormous task for them, so, we definitely need and seek more hands.”
The governor also called for improved collaboration among security agencies to sustain relative peace in the state, with the traditional rulers equally playing vital roles in strengthening security architecture.
His words: “There is no chance for criminalities in the state, because of the nature of security architecture in the state. We also involve and encourage our traditional rulers to work with the security agencies by providing actionable intelligence for use.
“We thank the Police authorities for the Police School in Ballah and the Intelligence School in Share. In fact, we had to put a transformer there few months ago to make sure we get the place working. But we are saddened by the relocation of Police Public Relations School that was here in Ilorin before. We hope you will look into that again and return it,” he said.
AbdulRazaq, however, commended the police and other security agencies for making the state relatively safe for economic activities.
“We appreciate your efforts for keeping this state safe. Now, we have peace and people are coming to live in Kwara State. Now, we have four airlines coming to the state and the economy of the state is booming, hotels are often filled and rent are going up.
“This points to better security, and I commend the security agencies for what they do to keep us safe. Now, people see Kwara as a safe haven and they are coming here to settle. The security issue is kept to the barest minimum by the police and other security agencies.”
Earlier, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Tuesday Assayomo, lamented the shortage of manpower, saying it has affected policing capacity in the state, especially, now that bandits were being bombarded and chased away from Zamfara and Katsina States.
“The concern of Kwarans today is that they do not enter Kwara State through this ungoverned reserve forest in the Northern part of the State, hence my subtle request to the IGP to graciously order for the return of our Mobile Policemen currently on special duty in the states outside Kwara so as to help strengthen the security of the state.
“Kwara State is called the state of Harmony but with her fair share of security challenges like kidnapping, herdsmen/farmers’ clashes, cultism, boundary disputes, communal clashes, migration of people from the crisis-ridden states to Kwara State, the state has become crime-prone.
“Kwara State has three senatorial districts: the North Senatorial district has an international border with Republic of Benin in Baruten Local Government area, which makes the area vulnerable to cross-boundary crimes like smuggling and human trafficking.
“Kaiama Local Government Area of the state has a large ungoverned forest reserve that stretches to Borgu Local Government Area of Niger State, which also makes the place a bandit rendezvous,” he said.