By Yemi Akinsuyi, 3rd May 2022.
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Usman Alkali Baba has assured the Police readiness in ensuring equity, credible, free and fair gubernatorial elections in Ekiti, Osun States, and 2023 general elections.
The Police boss, who made the assurance Thursday during the IG,’s conference with top Police officers in Abuja, said proper human and materials have been put in place to achieve the feat.
In his words: “Permit me to at this juncture, assure citizens of this country of the firm determination of the Force, as the lead agency in the election security process, that we shall emplace appropriate frameworks that will engender a fair, peaceful, secure, and credible electoral process in both the Ekiti and Osun States gubernatorial elections and during the upcoming 2023 general elections.
“Indeed, in furtherance to our preparation for the 2023 general elections, we are currently working on enhancing the capacity of officers of the Force in election security management. Consequently, I have approved the conduct of an Election Security Management Training for Police Officers ahead of the general elections. The training which will be delivered in partnership with a Training and Security Consultant with vast experience in election security management, will hold across the six (6) geopolitical zones of the country and will commence with the North-Central Zone on 4th August, 2022 here in Abuja.
“Subsequently, other geopolitical zones will host the training which is designed as a Train-the-Trainer programme. Your absolute cooperation is mandatory for the overall success of this initiative. Aside this, I also encourage you all to sustain your synergy with the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) and other sister security agencies in your respective States towards ensuring effective coordination and guarantee the success of the entire electoral process.”
The IGP also lauched the Police Specialised Services Automation Project, POSSAP, a concept of rendering specialized services by the Police, is a global practice, and as such, designed to generate complimentary revenue for the Police in order to augment funding constraints which usually hamper operational capabilities.
Explaining further, Baba said: “The Police Specialized Services Automation Project (POSSAP) as approved by the Federal Government is intended to achieve three fundamental objectives. First is to ensure the standardisation of the process of offering police services. Second is to guarantee accountability in the process, and third is to act as a source of complementary revenue which will be channelled to augment the personnel welfare, as well as other administrative and operational needs of Force. The initiative is, in fact, in line with the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative (SRGI) of the Federal Government which is aimed at improving revenue sufficiency for critical agencies of government.
“Today’s launch, therefore, will activate the first Phase which covers only three (3) of the specialized police services in the first phase. These are Specialized Escort and Guard Services; Police Character Certificate and Police Extract. It is my expectation that this initiative will in the long-run be a catalyst that will positively change the Nigeria Police administrative and operational strategies.”
The IGP noted that the Police has continued to sustain anti-crime activities as well as police reform agenda.
He said: “In furtherance to this, we have since the beginning of this year, been strengthening our logistics and operational capacity through the procurement and deployment of five hundred and thirty (530) purpose-built operational vehicles including armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and patrol vans. Two hundred and eighty-three (283) of these operational vehicles were procured within the Nigeria Police budgetary provisions by the Force leadership, while two hundred (200) were procured through the intervention of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund. Thirty-one (31) additional vehicles were acquired by the Ministry of Police Affairs for the Force, while sixteen (16) others were donated to the Force by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority for purpose of enhancing our operations along the Abuja-Kaduna highway.
“Aside these, we have also procured two thousand, five hundred (2,500) bullet-proof vests/armoured plates, and ninety-three thousand, five hundred and eighty-three (93,583) long and short range teargas for civil disorder management. All these assets have been distributed to Police Commands/formations and are currently being deployed to strengthen our on-going special Anti-Banditry and Violent Crimes Operations across the country.
“With regards to the security challenges along the Abuja-Kaduna highway, I wish to use this opportunity to re-assure Nigerians that the Nigeria Police are collaborating effectively with the Military, Department of State Services, the Ministry of Transport, and the Nigerian Railway Corporation towards evolving a resilient security architecture that will address the current threats on a sustainable basis. In the interim, aside upscaling our patrol operations along the highway, we have deployed our air assets for aerial surveillance in support of the ground police teams.
“In addition, we have re-invigorated the ‘Operation Safer Highway’ with the injection of more patrol vehicles and personnel across the country. We have similarly, strengthened ‘Operation Restore Peace’, the Special Anti-Secessionist Operation in the South East with the deployment of more special operational Units and assets of the Force.
“In order to enhance the attainment of our internal security mandate, I am also elated to confirm that we have secured the approval of the National Communications Commission (NCC) for the allocation of a national Police Short Code for free emergency calls and information sharing between the Police and citizens. The acquisition of the short Code which is ‘933’, is a landmark initiative by the Force leadership to bridge the age-long emergency communication gap between the Police and members of the public. The code will soon be formally launched.
“Furthermore, as part of our police modernization vision, the Force has established an Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) Unit within the Department of Operations (Airwing Section) of the Force. To aid the take-off of the new Unit, we have procured five (5) Drones and Officers to man the Unit have also been exposed to specialized training in South Africa and certified as Drones Operations specialists. We are currently leveraging on the expertise of the NPF-UAV Unit to support special police operations, particularly, for surveillance operations along the Abuja-Kaduna Highway and railway corridor. They were also optimally utilized in the recent Nigeria Police special anti-banditry operation in Sokoto with huge success
“In order to address the welfare concerns of the Force, the Police Insurance Section is being re-positioned for better operational efficiency. In furtherance to this, I have approved the establishment and incorporation of the Nigeria Police Insurance Company (NPIC) to effectively manage the Police insurance policies, and maximise the welfare interests of police personnel who are constantly being exposed to occupational hazards.
“Consequent upon these operational and administrative initiatives, I am glad to note that the Nigeria Police’s service delivery and operational efficiency have significantly improved. This is evidenced by the fact that between January 2022 to date the Nigeria Police have arrested a total of three hundred and twenty-eight (328) Terrorists/Bandits; three hundred and twenty-five (325) Armed Robbery Suspects; three hundred and thirty-nine (339) Kidnapping Offenders and two hundred and forty-seven (247) suspected cultists. Also, within this period, we have safely rescued three hundred and seven (307) kidnapped victims and recovered five hundred and ten (510) firearms of various descriptions, and eight thousand, nine hundred and six (8,906) ammunition of various descriptions and calibre including rocket propelled grenades and other Improvised Explosive Devices.
“All these would have been impossible without the loyalty, sacrifice, courage, and purposeful leadership of all of you that are gathered here. I, hence, wish to commend you all for your renewed sense of duty and patriotism. I, however, encourage you to sustain the positive trend. This is because as the national political landscape becomes more active, there will be new threats to our internal security which will further challenge you as strategic police Commanders. I am confident that in addressing these anticipated threats, you shall continue to deploy your wealth of experience to aid the nation in deepening our democratic values.”
He reassured the citizens of Nigeria of Police unflinching commitment to the Police Reform Project, as well as the assurances that the Police will continue to provide responsible and responsive leadership that will address their fears of crimes and engender seamless Police-Citizen’s cooperation in the war against crimes in the country.
He also solicited the continued understanding and support of Nigerians across board.