President Muhammadu Buhari has said the federal government will recruit 10,000 more policemen in order to establish a properly trained and equipped federal anti-terrorism multi-agency task force that will effectively tackle the challenge of insurgency in the future.
Speaking at the National Security Summit on Community Partnership Approach to Internal Security and Crime Management, organised by the Nigeria Police in Abuja, monday, the president stated that the government was also considering the expansion of the Close Circuit Television (CCTV) monitoring system across major cities and towns in the country.
Buhari also stressed the need for community input to policing and crime management in the country in view of the current security challenges in which kidnapping, armed robbery, murder, transnational crimes, terrorism and other organised crimes have evolved to threaten the national values and overall progress as a nation.
He stated that unemployment, illiteracy, radicalisation, negative peer group influence, substance abuse and erosion of family and moral values are social factors that underlie criminal tendencies, the president averred that the task of addressing these challenges is that of parents, teachers, community and the state.
He said: “It is 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 appreciation of the strategic roles of the citizens and the community in modern policing, the president stated that his administration would encourage states to look at state-level community interaction with police under a model that would integrate members of the community to policing functions at the grassroots level.
He commended the police leadership for dismantling roadblocks and deploying policemen in the highway to protect Nigerians.
The Inspector General of Police (IG), Solomon Arase, called for adequate funding of the Nigeria Police to ensure operational efficiency, stressing that it is only through adequate funding that the huge logistics demand of the police can be met.
Arase noted that modern policing is a cost-intensive venture wherein the benefits far outweigh the value of budgetary investment.
“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.
He called for the resuscitation and passage of the Bill on Police Trust Fund pending before the National Assembly to give effect to public-police partnership.
The bill seeks to tax corporate entities to complement the federal government in funding the police.
Arase maintained that if passed, the funding challenges of the police would have been addressed on a sustainable basis, insisting that the security challenges in the country and inadequate manpower would be best addressed through citizens-driven policing model.
In a key note address, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, advised Buhari to prosecute all those found guilty of corruption.
“We are 100 per cent in support of your fight against corruption in this country, and it is our belief that all those found guilty should not only have their entire assets seized or and forfeited to government but also face jail sentences,” he said.
He called on the federal government to institute a national integrity plan as soon as posssible even as he challenged the police and other security agencies to support the anti-corruption crusade of the government.