Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, has was again expressed his passionate dislike for Human Rights Abuses and Extra-Judicial killings, even as he has warned policemen in the country against perpetrating acts capable to leading to either of the two situations.
Mr. Arase who sounded this warning during his visit to the Delta State Police Command, Asaba, on Wednesday, March 23, 2016, assured that he would not hesitate to wield the big stick and clamp down on any police operative with heavy sanctions, if found guilty, adding that the use of arms by the police should be to protect rather than intimidate citizens, especially the civilians, they are meant to protect.
Arase said, “Arms are given to the police to protect lives and property and not to kill people indiscriminately. I am allergic to human rights abuses and extra judicial killings and I will not subscribe to it. If any policeman is found wanting in that regard, he will face the music appropriately because extrajudicial killings and human rights abuses have been two of the major grounds of litigations against the police and indeed the negative perception people have of the force in the country”.
The IG of Police, who harped on the need for the police to explore and devise new and modern ways of policing, noted that the major challenge of the police in Nigeria today was insurgency, which he described as “a challenge that has become pandemic and requires modern policing because it is an asymmetric warfare.”
While justifying the reason for his visit to all the commands in the country, Arase, who said he had already visited 34 states and Delta was the 35th, noted that his tour was informed by the fact that gallant police officers all over the country were risking their lives on a daily basis to fight crime and ensure a safe and secure society and it was only imperative for him to embark on the tour to meet the men and women directly and commend them for all their efforts, instead of sitting down in Abuja and dishing out orders.
“You know I have an emotional attachment to Delta because I was born in Sapele, Krudas road precisely, some sixty years ago. My family house is still there, so I know it is not easy policing a state like Delta because of the security challenges including arms smuggling, kidnapping, robbery and what have you.
“So, I am here to thank you and commend you for the efforts which you put in to make this state peaceful and secured,” he stated.
Arase, who announced that he was releasing 5 new vehicles to the Delta State Police Command, to add to what the state Government had already given them, urged the officers of the command to embrace modern ways of policing, also assured them that the welfare of the police, especially the cadre of Inspectors and rank and file was very dear to his heart and this has motivated him to provide scholarships and housing schemes for them and their children to help cushion the tedium of the job.
He disclosed that over 40,000 officers of rank and file have been promoted to higher ranks since last year while over 300 children of the rank file officers have been placed scholarship courtesy of the force.
“I will continue to do more to improve your welfare. As we speak, we have a 400 building housing scheme for officers of the lower rank, with one hundred units each located in Benin, Katsina, Yola and Enugu.
“We are going to do open balloting for the houses so that it will be for those who truly deserve the houses. I am going to make sure that you access the mortgage so that as you are exiting the force, you should be able to have a place where you call your own.
“I have written to the Governor of Delta State, appealing to him to give us a land somewhere, I and sure the Commissioner of Police will be pursuing that now. Once we have a place, we will make that we build houses for you,” he pledged.
He further advised them to embark on holding regular town hall meetings with major stakeholders such as traditional institutions, Okada riders and motor unions, members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, market women, civil society organization, and all those tangential to the collective security agenda of the state, with a view to enhancing strategies that would arrest the upsurge in crimes in the state.
“It is very important for town hall meetings with stakeholders to he held to fashion out ways of curbing crimes. In the old days, it was the traditional institutions, through town-hall meetings, masquerades and other forms of social apparatus that were used to check criminal activities. It is important to get traditional institutions to handle such matters like land issues, which has generated so much conflict and rancor over the years, instead involving the police all the time,” he said.
Mr. Arase, who also charged the officers of the Nigeria Police Force, Delta State to walk with swagger and carry themselves with dignity to earn respect of members of the public, cautioned them on appearances, admonishing them to desist from carrying instruments like horse-whip and canes as well as dressing in slippers and unkempt, rumpled uniforms without their berets, in public.
“As an officer of the Nigeria Police Force, you must be able to walk with swagger. Carry yourself with dignity to earn appreciation from members of the public. I am very delighted seeing you here today because you are all looking radiant,” he said.
In his opening remarks, Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Alkali Baba Usman had expressed the command’s joy to the Inspector General for the visit, saying that the presence of the IG will serve motivate as a great motivation for them to perform better.
CP Alkali Usman enumerated the challenges facing the command to include shortage of manpower, inadequate logistics, shortage of arms and ammunition and acute shortage of barrack accommodation for officers and men of the command.
He however commended the past Police Commissioner in the state for building effective crime fighting structures which he inherited, adding that they had helped to consolidate his own efforts and that in spite of the present challenges, the command was winning the war against crime in the state.
“The challenges enumerated above notwithstanding, the Delta State command with the continuous support of the IGP and Delta State Government and coupled with effective synergy with other security agencies, vigilant groups and other stakeholders, is winning the war against all forms of criminalities in the state”, he said.
Highlight of the visit to the command, was the decoration Woman Corporal Sylvaline Abuchi, by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Solomon Arase, who promoted her instantly from the rank of Corporal to the rank of Sergeant, after she had asked a very intelligent question, on the profiling of male spouses of female police before marriage.
The visit had commenced with the inspection of the mounted guard by the IGP after which he was ushered into the venue of the event, where he was formally introduced to the officers of the command and his very impressive citation was read by the PPRO, Delta State Police Command, DSP Celestina Kalu.