President Muhammadu Buhari has lamented the failure of the Nigeria Police Force to lead the front line in fighting crimes such as kidnapping, farmer-herders’ conflict and other internal security challenges.
The president disclosed this on Monday while receiving members of the Police Service Commission and the Nigeria Police leadership, who visited him at the State House to thank him for approving a new police salary structure, which will raise salaries and pension of men and officers of the force.
In a statement by Garba Shehu, his spokesman, President Buhari “regretted that the inability of the police in their constitutional role as the frontline force in the prevention of crime, had led to military involvement in the maintenance of law and order throughout the country”
“From Taraba to Sokoto, to the South-South, people don’t feel secure until they see the military. I am pleased to make the increase in salary and allowances in the hope that it will increase the performance index of the police and strengthen Nigeria’s internal security system,” he said.
President Buhari observed that the more efficient the police is, the more confident the government and citizens will be.
According to him, “The military should be reserved for higher tasks. The police should be able to cope well with the challenges of armed robbery, kidnapping for ransom and such crimes. In every town and village, there is the presence of the police. From all these places, they should be able to forward first class intelligence to you on which to act.”
“There is a need to amplify the question of more men of the police, especially given the condition we are in – emergency in the North-East, pervasive insecurity and abduction for ransom and banditry in many parts of the country. I congratulate you on the success you recorded against criminals taxing people and stopping them from their farms. We are expecting more from you,” the President told the police.
Full-time Commissioner in the Nigeria Police Service Commission, Justice Clara Ogunbiyi (rtd), who represented the chairman, Musiliu Smith, had informed the President that the Rank Salary Structure Adjustment would enhance police welfare and morale.
The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, also assured that the police would redouble efforts to ensure free, fair and credible elections throughout the country next year.