Two main things that improve police work in advanced countries are men and machine, especially in the right ratio to population size and spread. President Muhammadu Buhari has promised both; that 10,000 new men and women would be hired into the Nigeria Police, and the installation of CCTV across major cities and towns in the country.
Buhari announced his government’s plan at the National Security Summit on Community Partnership Approach to Internal Security and Crime Management, organised by the police in Abuja on Monday. He also said that plans are underway to train men and officers of the Nigeria Police to re-orientate them to perform better as guardians of the constitution.
Buhari said: “It is in acknowledgement of this that I have identified youth empowerment as one of the cardinal objectives of our administration. In furtherance to this, the Federal Government is planning to employ at least an extra 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.
“In the meantime, efforts are 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 order to further strengthen 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.”
The Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, called for funding of the Nigeria Police to boost its operational efficiency. “Through effective funding, the welfare needs of police personnel will be met and the challenge of corruption that has eroded professionalism and public respect for police will be addressed,” he said.
Arase’s push for citizens-driven policing of the country, which Buhari endorsed as special guest at the summit, is quite commendable. However it calls for an effective mass communication campaign that will re-orientate all Nigerians to help police the country better by becoming better whistle blowers (police informers).
Some Nigerians have bitter experiences to share in this regard though. Some have reported that they got into bigger trouble by blowing the whistle on some criminals in the past. They had discovered that some corrupt policemen actively connived with armed robbers by blowing the whistle on whistle blowers.
What do you think about all this?