The Police Affairs Minister Caleb Olubolade announced that the Nigeria Police will be professionalized in order to tackle recent challenges of terrorism, insecurity and kidnapping. He said this during his presentation of the ministry’s scorecard in the last two years to the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Minister used this opportunity to demand more funds for the realization of the plan.
Mr Olubolade said he strives to provide adequate and updated training for the police personnel. “We have to look at the police intelligence gathering and training which is key to our focus in this administration. Police must be given enough equipment and be protected with bullet proof vests for them to carry out their assignments,” he said.
He also disclosed the plan of the Ministry to “raise the bar” by recruiting degree holders – especially those with scientific background – into the police . “Fighting crimes is scientific and we must raise the bar. That is why we must raise the qualifications of those who are coming to direct the affairs of the force,” he said.
Mr Olubolade said the Police Service Commission (PSC) will use significant experience of its new Chairman, Mike Okiro, a former Inspector General of Police, in the force affairs management.
Minister stated that police is going to develop and implement “the concept of community policing” that is instrumental in combating grassroots criminal activities. He, however, ruled out the creation of state police, explaining that the force as presently constituted must be better trained and equipped before creating alternatives. “We must make the present arrangement work first. I’m of the opinion that the present police must be trained, their welfare improved and equipments provided to them and this is the direction of my opinion now until we are assured that we are better and ready for the state police,” he said.
Mr Olubolader aslo disclosed that a thousand of Close Circuit Television (CCTV) are installed in Lagos and Abuja and ready for commissioning by the president, Goodluck Jonathan. He added that the vice president, Namadi Sambo, had already checked the new equipment and confirmed they were working properly.
The National Chairman of the PDP, Bamanga Tukur, in his opening remarks urged Mr. Olubolade to take a look at the manifesto of the ruling party and ensure that its programs of security of lives and property are implemented. Mr. Tukur also asked the minister to encourage and provide logistics for community policing and also checkmate recruitment exercise in the police force “to avoid garbage in, garbage out.”