The House of Representatives has directed its Standing Committee on Police Affairs to probe the claim by the Inspector General of Police, Solomo Arase that a total of 90,000 men and officers of the Nigeria Police Force have lost their lives over the years in the ongoing fight against insurgency.
The House also mandated the committee to liaise with other relevant committees and agencies in order to look into the possible replacement of any shortfall in manpower the Nigeria Police is currently facing to enable it tackle the current internal security challenges facing the country.
The resolutions followed the adoption of a motion on matters of urgent public importance sponsored by Hon. Ahmed Yerima.
The lawmaker had in his motion, urged the House to mandate its relevant committee to investigate the claim by Mr. Arase.
Rep. Yerima (APC-Bauchi) had noted that the IGP’s revelation was alarming and disturbing, considering the delicate security situation in the country, adding that the development is an admission of inadequate manpower in the police.
He said, “The United Nations (UN) approximates a median of about 300 police officers per 100,000 citizens globally. According to recent estimates from Interpol, Nigeria has about 205 police officers for every 100,000 citizens which is 95 police officers shy of the global median.
“There is already a large shortage of manpower in the police and its attendant effects are being felt all over the country, with kidnapping, robberies, homicides, communal clashes and ultimately, the Boko Haram insurgency among others”.
Members, who spoke in support of the motion decried the plight of the police force and urged the federal government to take urgent steps to remedy the situation by carrying immediate recruitment exercise with adequate training, equipment and remunerations.
Contributing to the debate, Hon. Nasir Ali Ahmed (APC, Katsina) said: “For us to lose that number of policemen is a monumental loss and very unfortunate; and we must act fast to provide adequate funding and protective equipment for the police force to enable them protect themselves and then the public”.
Another lawmaker, Ali Ahmed Pategi (APC, Kwara) also submitted that: “I will urge that since this is an investigative matter, it should be thoroughly looked into because losing 90,000 policemen is no mean misfortune for a society. I will support a thorough investigation of this and also the recruitment and funding of additional officers and men to meet the security requirement of our society”.
When it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, the motion was unanimously passed and referred to the House committee on Police Affairs for further legislative actions with a mandate to report back to the House within eight weeks.