As Nigerians mark Democracy Day, the Centre for the Vunerable and the Underprivileged, (CENTREP) has charged President Muhammadu Buhari to revamp the Nigeria Police Force in terms of modern security technologies and funding, to clamp the worsening state of insecurity across the nation.
CENTREP’s Executive Director, Oghenejabor Ikimi Esq., in a statement circulated to newsmen in Warri on Wednesday, noted that the current condition of the Force in power centralization, lack of modern security technologies and trainings, as well as the meagre resources available for the institution are responsible for it ineffectiveness in combatting crime.
Positing that calls for state and local governments Police will not provide the needed solutions, he pointed out that both arms of government currently have challenges paying salaries of their workers. Hence, the move will become an additional burden for them.
Calling on the 9th National Assembly to ensure the passage of the Police Trust Fund Bill, he explained that it will curb the illegal collection of money from motorists, as well as other vices being associated with the police.
Ikimi noted that these activities of policemen have given rise to crime and increased human killings in the country.
“We make bold to say that Nigeria Police Force apart from being ill equipped, ill trained and ill funded, same is structured to fail as the institution is over centralized and thus ineffective to deal with the sophistication crime has assumed nationwide.
“The above ills to say the least have thus imparted negatively on the Force in terms of professionalism and discipline. For instance, checkpoints manned by Policemen nationwide have assumed the status of toll gates as Policemen collects money at will from motorists and even change money for motorist.
“The sad commentary about some of these unscrupulous activities of Policemen at checkpoints and Police stations is the use of Point of Sale (POS) machines to extort moneys from suspects in major cities.
“The above malaise no doubt has in no small way help to exacerbate the worsen state of insecurity across our nation such that the spate of violent crimes like murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, banditry and terror has increased,” he stated.
Ikimi further stated that the “decentralization of our over centralized and ineffective Police Force” into the six geographical political zones, each headed by an Inspector General of Police may bring an end to the “malaise”.
Ikimi added thus: “the retooling and equipping of the Nigerian Police Force with modern technological gadgets such as drones, CCTV cameras, state of the art cars fixed with ICT gadgets, walkie-talkie gadgets, crime fighting helicopters and forensic laboratories etc in detecting, preventing and fighting crimes would go a long way to reducing crimes to the barest minimum nationwide.
“To this end, our nation urgently requires a Police Trust Fund in the above regard to properly fund the Police Force, hence we in Centrep are renewing our call for the passage of the Police Trust Fund bill that is presently gathering dust in the hallow chambers of the National Assembly.
“CENTREP believes that with a Police Trust Fund put in place, the Nigerian Police Force would be properly funded, equipped, trained and re-trained and repositioned as a 21st Century crime monitoring and fighting Outfit nationwide,” the statement said.